There is an interesting legend associated with the origin of the temple.
It is believed that the idol of Lord Vishnu consecrated here is the very idol worshiped by Sathyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna at
Dwaraka in the Mahabharata Era more than 5,000 years ago. One day it
so happened that she failed to notice her husband standing nearby as
she was immersed in performing Pooja to the idol. The Lord, furious,
kicked the idol off the pedestal. It flew into the nearby sea, when its right hand was broken. Time and tide took the idol to the Kannur sea
belt off Dwarka. A fisherman happened to net it. It being a precious
catch, he presented it to King Valabhan, the Kolathiri King ruling over the area in that period.
The king had constructed a temple, Kadalayi, in a village about 6 km (3.7 mi) north of Kannur and was on the lookout for an idol to be consecrated there. The astrologers understood the sanctity
of the idol and confirmed that the idol, though its hand was broken and thus deformed, was worthy of consecration. The idol was thus
consecrated at Kadalayi. When the temple was ruined due to the devastating onslaught of time a new temple was built at Chirakkal 180 years ago and the old idol re-consecrated. The temple, though situated at Chirakkal, is still referred to by its old name, Kadalayi.
Chirakkal is a beautiful village situated 6 kilometres north of Kannur Town in Kannur District of Kerala. It is famous for its lores and looms, its temples and legends. A tank, the largest existing in India, adorns this village.
More than 14 acres (57,000 m2) in extent, this tank known as the
Chirakkal Chira is famous throughout and attracts the attention of tourists from various places. This village is also the seat of the Royal
family of Chirakkal, the descendants of the famous [[Mushika
Kingdom|Mushika]] Dynasty. It is in this village that the famous Kadalayi Sree Krishna Temple, known as the 'Guruvayur of North Malabar' and reputed for its antiquity and holiness, is situated. The temple attracts thousands of devotees from far and near.
How to reach the temple
- By road
- The temple is situated 500m away from Puthiyatheru, the busy market
place of Chirakkal, which stands on NH 17 about 6 km (3.7 mi) north of Kannur and 18 km (11 mi) south of Taliparamba. Mofussil buses plying
between Kannur and Taliparamba pass through this place. There are also
frequent town services. You can reach the temple by foot. Taxis and autorikshaws are also available.
- By rail
- The nearest major railway station where all trains stop is Kannur
on Kozhikode-Kannur sector of the [[Southern Railway (India)|Southern Railway]]. You can take a bus/taxi/autorikshaw from there to reach the temple.
- By air
- The nearest airport is Kozhikode Airport.
The tantric rights are vested with the Kattumadam Moothedath Illam and Kattumadam Ilayedath Illam. Brahmasree Kattumadam Moothedath Anil Namboothirippad performs the rites for the Moothedath Illam and Brahmasree Kattumadam Ilayedath Sankaranarayanan Namboothiripad and Brahmasree Kattumadam Ilayedath Easanan Namboothiripad performs the tantric rites of the Ilayedath Illam. Each Illam is in charge of the performance of the tantric rites and rituals every alternate year.
The melsanties are appointed hereditarily from two families, the Kallampally Illam and the Kara Bhattathiri Illam each assuming charg in every alternate month. Brahmasree Kallampalli Illath Kesavan Namboodiri is the present Melsanti from Kallampalli Illam and Brahmasree Madhavan Bhattathiri (son of Brahmasree Kesavan Bhattathiri, who was the melsanthi of Sabarimala Temple during 1974-75), from the Bhattathiri Illam.
The annual festival of the temple is from 15th Makaram to 22nd Makaram. (This falls during the last week of January and the first week of February.) The hosting of the holy flag (Kotiyettam) is on Makaram 15 and holy immersion of the idol (Aratt) which marks the end of the festival is on Makaram 22nd.
Other holy celebrations
Ashtami Rohini, Guruvayoor Ekadashi, and the Mandala Pooja also celebrated in a holy manner with Bhajans, religious discourses, niramal,
Devotees can offer Vazhipadu to the deity for fulfillment of their wishes and for material and spiritual welfare. A list of such offerings is given separately.
With the passage of time, due to normal wear and tear and impurities that might have adept in, the temple have lost its original holiness and
the idol its original sanctity. It is believed that this can be not
only regained but increased by the performance of performance of periodic Naveekarana Kalasam. It is more than thirty years since such a naveekarana Kalasam was performed in the temple. A feeling that it is time to perform a Naveekarana Kalasam in the temple and a desire to get it done as early as possible arose in the minds of the devotees. They know that this will bring material prosperity and reputed welfare of the
people and the place.
For fulfilling the desire of performing Naveekarana Kalasam in the temple, a committee known as the Kadalayi Sree Krishna Kshethra Naveekarana Kalasa Committee was constituted under the direction of HR&CE Commissioner in December 2005. A Swarnaprashnam under the leadership of the astrologer Parappanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker was conducted under the auspices of the committee in April 2006. The sanctity of the aged idol was brought to light in the Swarnaprasnam. It was found that the idol, though it had wear and tear, should not be changed but should be protected by a Panchaloha Golaka (protective covering with Panchaloha). After completing the repairs/renovations and after adorning the idol with the protective covering (Panchaloha Golaka)
a Naveekarana Kalasam should be performed.
The committee is proceeding with necessary requirements as found in the astrological readings. A silver lamp is to be lit in the [[sanctum sanctorum]] was offered at first by the committee and later two devotees
also offered silver lamps to the temple. Every month on Rohini day a
special poojas are performed and rice feeding (Annadana) is also organized. Now there is annadana on each Thursday.
The renovation of the thidappally (the kitchen inside the temple where holy offerings are prepared) is in progress.