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Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple
Kodungallur Temple.jpg
Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple
DistrictThrissur District
DeityBhadrakali (Maha Kali, Durga, Kannaki)
TypeArchitecture style of Kerala
CompletedNot Known

Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple (alternatively Kodungallur Devi Temple) is a Hindu temple at Kodungallur, Thrissur District, Kerala state, India. It is dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali, a form of Maha Kali or Parashakthi worshipped in Kerala. The goddess is known also by the names "Sri Kurumba"" (The Mother of Kodungallur).This temple is the head of 64 Bhadrakali temples in Kerala especially Malabar. The goddess of the temple represents the goddess in her fierce ('ugra') form, facing North, featuring eight hands with various attributes. One is holding the head of the demon king Daruka, another a sickle-shaped sword, next an anklet, another a bell, among others. Routine worship at the temple every day at 03:00 and ends at 21:00 local time.[1]

The temple is often accredited as the original form of Goddess Kali.[citation needed] During the reign of Later Cheras, Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur) was the capital of the Chera empire and one of the most important parts of the region. The temple is in the centre of Kerala and is called 'Malayala Bhagavathi' by Tamil speakers. The Temple was built in a remote past and its worship incorporates ancient Shaktyem customs which are rarely observed in contemporary Kerala temples.[citation needed]


Kodungallur bhagavathy
Kodungallur bhagavathy

The people of Kodungallur believe that this temple was, in the olden days, a Shiva shrine and it was Parasurama who installed the murti of Bhadrakali close to one of Shiva. The pujas are conducted, it is said, under direct instructions from the goddess herself. Five 'Sri Chakras', said to have been installed by Adi Shankaracharya, are believed to be the main source of the powers of this deity. The priests are Namboodiris and Adikas (Madhu Brahmins) who have a right to perform 'Pushpanjalis' to the Goddess.

It is in this temple, Kannaki Amman, the heroine of Ilango Adigal's Tamil story Silappathikaram attained salvation.[2] She came to Kodungallur, prayed to Bhadrakali of Kodungallur and became absorbed in the murti.

It is said that the temple was constructed by Cheraman Perumal. The first Shakteya Pooja in kodungallur temple was performed by a Thiyyar from Malabar. Even present day , The Thiyya thandans (An administrative position) of 64 tharas meet at Nilapaduthara at Kodungaloor in the presence of kodungallur raja. The kodungaloor meena bharani is conducted under these Thiyya thandans.

In Tantric terms, the divinity is installed in what is called the "Rurujit Vidhaana" pattern, a form of installation with Shiva in one end, Ganesha in the other, with the Sapta Matrika goddesses in between.[citation needed]

In ancient times, animal sacrifices were offered at the temple, mostly in the forms of birds and goats, by devotees seeking protection and the fulfillment of their prayers. At the intervention of many "social reformers," the government of Cochin banned animal sacrifice in any form at this place. At present, only red-dyed dhotis are offered to the deity. Many devotees offer rich presents and gold ornaments.[3][4][disputed ]

Temple structure

Lighting the evening lamps at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
Lighting the evening lamps at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

The temple is situated in the middle of a plot of land about ten acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The srikovil is facing north. The western chamber of the inner temple is the seat of Sapthamatrukas (Seven Mothers) who also face north. The idols of Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are found in the chamber, one facing east and the other facing west, respectively. The idol of bhagawati is about seven feet high and made of wood, carved from a jackfruit tree. The idol has eight arms that carry weapons and symbols.[5]

To the left of the temple sits a small stone structure called 'the Samadhi of Vysoori', perhaps a medieval shrine for a deity of smallpox, chicken pox, mumps and other contagious diseases. Devotees make offerings of turmeric powder, sprinkled and rubbed on its walls. About fifty metres further is a sacred pond called (Pushkarini), where devotees bathe before entering the main shrine. It is believed that this pond was created by the goddess by striking the ground with her sword.


Bharani festival

Kodungallur Bharani festival in Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
Kodungallur Bharani festival in Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the major festivals of Kerala. It is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Kumbham to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Meenam. It normally falls between the months of March and April. The festival usually starts with a ritual called 'Kozhikkallu moodal' which involves the sacrifice of cocks and shedding of their blood, which forms an important feature of this temple. The members of the "Kodungallur Bhagavathy Veedu" are allowed to participate in this ritual. It is to appease the goddess Kali and her demons who take delight in blood offerings.

'Kavu Theendal' is another major part of the festival. Bhadrakali being the patron of the royal family of Cranganore, the raja of Kodungallur plays an active part in the celebrations. Standing upon a platform built around a banyan tree, the Raja spreads out a silken parasol soon after the door of the Devi shrine is opened. This gesture represents a permission given for all castes to enter the precincts of the temple for worship. Devotees run round the temple three times with sticks in their hands, before entering the shrine. The ritual commemorates the slaying of the demon Daruka, and the sticks are said to be substitutes for the swords and other weapons used for the ritual in the past.[citation needed]

During this ritual, Vellichapads, (oracles of the goddess), dressed as the goddess and said to be possessed by her, run around the temple in a frenzied trance state, waving their sickle-shaped swords in the air while the members of their retinue offer reverence over the inner quadrangle of the temple. They yell out lewd, bawdy, abusive cries at the goddess, which is said to please her. This is followed by a purification ceremony the next day.

'Chandanapoti Charthal' is another festival, involving smearing the image with sandalwood paste.[6][7]

Thalappoli festival

The Thalappoli festival is in the month of Makaram (January–February). The four-day Thalappoli commences from the evening of Makara Sankranthi with religious rituals. Big procession headed by richly caparisoned elephants are taken out to the accompaniment of Pancha Vadyam, Paancari, Paandi, etc. It is celebrated by all sections of people of Kodungalloor and adjacent areas. The first day of Thalappoli consists of many offerings to goddess. "souseeni" as it is called among the kudumbi community is one among them. This is basically mixing riceflakes with jaggery and coconut, later on this is shared among the devotees around.


This temple is managed by the Cochin Devaswom Board along with the Raja of Cranganore, the Kshetra Upadesaka samithi. The association of 64 Thiyya Thandans from Malabar known as Althara Sangham has the right to conduct Kodungallur meena Bharani Maholsavam.Onnu Kure Áyiram Yogam (an association of Nair community) conducts the first day of Thalappoli.. . The Bhagavathi temple is one of the richest temples in Kerala.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Kodungallur Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple". Temples of Kerala. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Kavu Theendal ceremony today". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Kodungallur". TempleNet. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Kodungallur Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple". Temples of Kerala. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Kodungallur". Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Oracles Throng Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple". Oneindia. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  7. ^ "'Kavutheendal' observed at Kodungallur". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 24 March 2004. Retrieved 5 December 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 February 2020, at 04:13
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