Kalady (literally means feet), situated majestically on the banks of the river Periyar, is a popular Hindu religious destination in Kerala. Kalady is famed as the birth place of Adi Sankara, the founder of the Advaita order. Adi Sankara was born in a Brahmin family in 8th century. Sringeri Mutt located at his birthplace is a got spot among the Hindu pilgrims.
Kalady is situated on the north bank of the Periyar River where Adi Sankara, the founder of the Advaita order (monism), was born in the 8th century. The shrines that were built to his memory include the Dakshinamurti, Sharada shrines, and the 9-storeyed octagonal tower that describe his life and the six ways to worship.
An important historical pilgrim centre, Kalady is easily accessible by air (6km from the Cochin International airport). Besides easy road access, the nearest railway stations are those of Aluva and Angamaly.
Must sees in Kalady include the Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam, a tall 8-storey memorial built by Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt; Ramakrishna Advaita Ashram; and the Malayatoor church that is just 10km from Kalady; this is where St Thomas fled from hostile natives. The Dakshina Moorthi and Sharada shrine are also open to all pilgrims. Vrindavan is the spot were Adi Shankara's Mother was cremated. Their family temple has also now been elevated in stature. Another famous temple, built in 1976, is the Sri Ramakrishna International Temple in the ultimate hope as an abode of peace.
Besides being a spiritual haven, Kalady has progressed to a center for Educational institutions.
Kalady river (Periyar) flows through Kalady. There is a legendary story behind it. While going to River Poorna, young Sankara’s mother fainted. By knowing this Sankara fervently prayed to Lord Krishna and Krishna blessed him by saying that the river will originate from the feet (Kalady) of Sankara. It can be seen that the river takes an unusual turn here towards the Mutt.
Kalady houses a shrine built in the memory of Adi Sankara. The Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam established by Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt is the prime attraction here. The memorial shrine is majestic with a 9-storeyed octagonal tower showcasing the life of the saint and the six ways of worshiping. The temple complex contains shrines dedicated to Dakshinamurti and Goddess Sharada. Pilgrims also visit the place Vrindavan, the place where Adi Shankara's Mother was cremated.
There is a family temple, which was renovated in the recent past, attracting the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna International Temple built in 1976 is a specimen of modern architectural beauty and is thronged by pilgrims all through the year. Other nearby attractions are Ramakrishna Advaita Ashram and the Malayatoor church.
Air: The nearest airport to Kalady is Nedumbassery International Airport at Kochi, at a distance of 35 km. Taxi services are available from Kochi to Kalady costing about Rs 400. Kochi airport is well connected to all major airports in India and also connected to many foreign cities. Direct flights are available to Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Rail: The nearest railhead is at Alwaye (Kalady). It is a major railhead in the Southern Railway. Kalady is well connected by trains to all major stations in India.
Road: Frequent bus services are available from all cities in Kerala to Kalady. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses connect Kalady with other cities. Private bus services are available locally in the city for easy travel. Super deluxe buses connect Kalady with other important cities like Kochi, Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Palaghat, Chennai, Salem, Coimbatore and Bangalore.