Along with the name Kottarakkara Ganpathy Temple, the other name that instantaneously strikes one’s mind is Kottarakkara Uniappam. It was also the first offering of the famous sculptor Perumthachan, who carved the idol of Mahaganapathy and enshrined Ganapathy at Kottarakkara. It was actually six to seven unaiaapams stringed together and made as an offering, which is otherwise known as Koottappam.
Ganapathy was so particular that his favourite ‘nivedhyam’ Unniappam should be made in front of him. Therefore, it is in front of the shrine of Ganapathy that the holy fire is lit for making Unniappam. Moreover, it is only after the sanctum sanctorum is open that the uniappam’s are made.
Raw rice, jaggery, ‘kadali’- a variety of banana and Ganapathy’s favourite, ghee and sugar are the ingredients used for making unniappam. Right from dawn to dusk, unniappam’s are made and all of these together are made as an offering to the Lord at dusk. Later on, it is distributed freely to the devotees. This offering is known as Udayasthamana Pooja. This offering came into practice centuries ago when the issueless Kottarakkara Tahmpuran made such an offering for propitiating the Gods to bless him with a child. It is after one’s wishes are granted that the offering is made. Though, very expensive, there is a great rush among devotees, that it is even difficult to get a date for making the offering. This, and the heavy rush of devotees to Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple speaks volumes of Lord Ganapathy’s love, care and concern towards them. Just aas Kathakali, which was first performed at Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple, became famous worldwide, unniappam too has attained fame and is in wide circulation as Kottarakkara unniappam, just like Ambalapuzha ‘paalpayasam’.