Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple
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|Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple|
|Proper name||Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple|
|Location||Pallippuram, Pattambi, Palakkad|
|Primary deity||Durga and Shiva|
|Architectural styles||South Indian, Temple|
|History and governance|
The Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple or Kodikkunnu Ambalam is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Durga located in the village of Pallippuram, near Pattambi, in Palakkad district of Kerala, India. The goddess is commonly referred to as the Bhagavathy or Kodikkunnathamma.
The word “kunnu” means hill in Malayalam language. Literally, Kodikkunnu Temple would thus mean the temple situated on top of the hill called “Kodi”. Kodikkunnu is near to Pallippuram railway station and can be accessed from Valanchery, Pattambi and Thrithala, by road.
The temple has nada (holy entrance) from 3 directions, viz., north, east and west. The door towards the south is permanently closed. Vehicles cannot reach the immediate temple premises as there is no road reaching the temple. From all three directions there are granite stone-paved steps to reach the temple.
All believed in a legend that at some time in the past there was a poor widow and three children living in a house, across the river. She used to tend cows and every morning she would take the milk to the temple, which she exchanged for cooked rice for the day. Once the river was full and the boatman did not dare to make it across. The widow returned and told the children that there would not be any rice till the risen river-waters subsided. She gave boiled milk to the children and put them to bed. At midnight someone knocked on the front door and she found an old woman on the door step all covered up and drenched. The nocturnal visitor placed a brass vessel full of rice in front of the widow and commanded: "Wake the children up and feed them!" And the figure vanished. After the floods receded, the widow went to the temple with the usual supply of milk. When she discussed the incident with the priest, he was astonished. The priest found that the vessel the widow had left in the temple in which she used to collect the rice had been missing from the sanctum sanctorum for the last three days.
There is a grandmother too, the mother of Kodikkunnu Goddess. She is the chief deity of Muthassiar Kavu (literally, grandmother's temple) near Pattambi. According to one legend the Grandmother Goddess and her three beautiful daughters (including Kodikkunnathamma) were strolling along the river bed on a summer night. They saw a dance festival by the Harijans (low-caste Hindus) and the youngest daughter was so carried away by it, that she refused to go along when it was time to leave. The mother ordered her to be with the Harijans and perform as their guardian deity. This is the popular belief on the origin of Kanakkar Kavu (Kanakkar is a sect of Harijans).
On another occasion the two sisters quarreled after witnessing the ritual of an animal sacrifice. As the younger one was so much engrossed in the gory scene, the elder one parted company and settled down in Kodikkunnu. The younger sister shifted to Kodungallur where blood sacrifices were a common ritual until the recent past. And the two sisters are still angry with the other sister that they have closed their temple doors that face towards Kodungallur. So in Kanakkarkavu and Kodikkunnu Temple there is no "thekke nada" (entrance from south).
Chirankara pooram (temple festival) is the main festival of Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple. This festival is conducted at Chirankara Mahavishnu temple which is known as the “Keezhekkavu” of Kodikkunnathamma. Chirankara temple is dedicated to Vishnu and "pooram" festivals are normally conducted in Durga temples only. But this [Pooram] is conducted there on behalf of Kodikkunnathamma. The area under Pallippuram is divided into smaller administrative geographical units called “desam”. From every desam people will send different type of dancers called "Pootan" and "Thara" for performance at the temple during the festival.
The main attractions during the pooram is Chenda melam, Thayambaka and Panchvadyam. From every desam people will bring “Kaala”(decorated artificial bullock pairs). At the end of the day there will be “Vedikkettu”(fireworks) which is a very enchanting sight to see.
The other important festival associated with the temple is the Kathiratta Vela (Festival of Harvest) that is celebrated after the every years harvest. This ‘vela’ is essentially a thanksgiving gesture to the Goddess for having given rich harvest. Kathiratta vela is conducted in the temple premises.