The annual Kottiyoor festival or Vaisakha Maholsavam is a 28 days long festival which falls on the month of May and June at Akkare Kottiyoor temple. Kottiyoor in Kannur has two temples - Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. The festival is very peculiar as it is not performed inside the walls of the temples but inside a dense forest near the gorgeous Bavali River at Kannur. Interestingly, the Akkare Kottiyoor temple is only open during the festival and Ikkare Kottiyoor will be closed during those days.
The festival starts with Neyyattam ritual on the Swati day and ends with Thrikkalashaattu. One of the important rituals during the festival is the 'Ilaneer Veppu'; it is submitting tender coconuts to the deity, Lord Shiva. Then there is a ritual called 'Elaneerattam'. Here, the priest of the temple pours the collected coconut water on the top of the idol. The festival is also unique with two elephants carrying the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. Then these elephants are given traditional farewell with 'Anayoottu' (offering food to elephants).