Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

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Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂർ ശ്രീ കുരുംബ ഭഗവതീ ക്ഷേത്രം
കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂർ ശ്രീ കുരുംബ ഭഗവതീ ക്ഷേത്രം
Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple
Name
Other names Kodungalloor Bhadrakali Temple
Proper name Kodungalloor Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple
Devanagari कोदुङ्गल्लॊर् श्री कुरुम्बा देवी (महाकाली) मन्दिर
Sanskrit transliteration कोटिलिङ्गपुरं भगवती क्षेत्रं
Tamil கொடுங்கல்லூர் அம்மன் கோயில்
Geography
Country India
State Kerala
District Thrissur district
Location Kodungallur
Culture
Primary deity Bhadrakali (Maha Kali, Durga, Maha Lakshmi, Kannaki)
Architecture
Architectural styles Architecture style of Kerala
History and governance
Date built Not Known

Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple (alternatively Kodungallur Devi Temple) is a Hindu temple at Kodungallur, Thrissur district, Kerala state, India. This is one of the most ancient temples in India. The idol of supreme mother Sree Bhadrakali or Sree Kurumba (popularly known as "Kodungallur Amma") in the temple is unique and fierce, as it has eight hands with various attributes. One is holding the head of demon king Daruka, another a sword, next an anklet, another a bell, and so on. Bhadrakali (a form of mother Mahakali) is believed to be born from the third eye of lord Shiva to kill the demon king Daruka. 'Bhadra' means good and 'Kali' means goddess of time. So Bhadrakali is often referred as the goddess of prosperity, time and salvation. Kodungalloor devi is the ferocious form or ugra form of divine mother 'Shakthi devi' or 'Durga', the goddess of power. Routine worship at the temple every day at 03:00 and ends at 21:00 local time. Bhadrakali is often worshipped in three different forms such as Maha Saraswati (goddess of knowledge), Maha Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), Sree Durga/ Parvathy (goddess of power)and Kannaki. [1]

The temple is often accredited as the original form of Goddess Kali. Sree Kurumba Bhagavati Temple is where Kannaki, heroine of Ilango Adigal's Tamil classic Silappathikaram attained salvation.[2] 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 referred as Malayala Bhagavathi by Tamil speaking communities. The Temple was built in a remote past and have ancient Dravidian customs which are rarely observed in contemporary kerala temples.

History[edit]

It is said that sixth avatar of Vishnu, Sage Parasurama built this temple for the prosperity of the people. According to the old chronicles, this Bhagavathi temple was created in the heart of the town many centuries ago to serve a special purpose.[3] Legend says that, after the creation of Kerala by Parasurama, he was harassed by a demon called Daruka. To kill this evil demon, Parasurama prayed to Lord Shiva for help. As advised by Shiva, Parasurama constructed the shrine and installed the Shakti Devi as Bhagavathi/Bhadrakali. The deity in the temple, it is believed, is Parashakthi herself. According to legends, it was Bhadrakali who killed the evil demon Daruka.

In Tantric terms the divinity is installed in what is called the "RURUJIT VIDHAANA" a form of installation where at one end is shiva and at the other end Ganapathy with Sapta Matrus in between.

According to another belief, the Kannaki came to Kodungallur and prayed to Goddess Bhadrakali of Kodungallur. She got absorbed to Bhagavathy idol. From time immemorial, persons wishing to earn merit have been offering animal sacrifice. Countless fowl and goats were sacrificed to the deity as vowed gifts for the protection and fulfillment of desires. 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.[4][5]

The people of Kodungallur believe that this temple was, in the olden days, a Shiva shrine and it was Parasurama who installed Sri Kurumba Bhagavathi close to the idol of Shiva. Although this is a small town and has several temples, most of them are Shiva shrines. The poojas are conducted under direct instructions from Sri Bhagavathi Herself. Five 'Sri Chakras' 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.

Bhagavathi being the patron of the royal family of Cranganore, the Raja plays an active part in the celebrations of the festival. Standing upon a rostrum built around a banyan tree, the Raja spreads out a silken umbrella soon after the door of the Devi shrine is opened. The peculiarity of the event is that it denotes the giving permission for all castes to enter the precincts of the temple for worship. This is known as ‘Kavu Theendal'. Devotees run round the temple thrice with sticks in hand before they enter the shrine. The legend goes to prove that the killing of the Demon has taken place and the sticks are substitutes for the arms and swords used in olden days.

Another Sree Kurumbaamma temple is situated at the South Side of the Town.Kudumbi Community Peoples pay their Services to this deity.

Temple structure[edit]

Lighting the evening lamps at Kodungallur Bhavathy 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.[6]

To the left of the temple is the walled enclosure which has a peculiar ‘Samadhi of Vysoori', perhaps a medieval shrine deity for smallpox, chicken pox, mumps and other contagious diseases. Devotees offer auspicious turmeric powder which gives credence to the influence of the Goddess and the legend. Its widespread fame is evident through its clean and well-kept sanctuaries. About fifty metres away to the left is a sacred pond (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.

Festivals[edit]

Bharani festival[edit]

Kodungallur Bharani festival in Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the grandest in 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 the 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', another important event of the festival, overseen by the King of Kodungallur where Vellichapads (oracles) make a run around the temple waving their sabres in the air while the members of their retinue offer reverence over the inner quadrangle. They make cry of abuse at the goddess in bawdy language. Their abuse is said to be accepted by the goddess followed by the purification ceremony the next day. Chandanapoti Charthal is yet another festival of smearing the image with sandal paste.[7][8]

Thalappoli festival[edit]

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 comprises 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.

Administration[edit]

This temple is managed by the Cochin Devaswom Board along with the Raja of Cranganore, the Kshetra Upadesaka samithi. 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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kodungallur Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple". Temples of Kerala. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  2. ^ "Kavu Theendal ceremony today". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2012-03-25. 
  3. ^ "Kodungallur Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple". Temples of Kerala. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Kodungallur". TempleNet. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  5. ^ "Kodungallur Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple". Temples of Kerala. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  6. ^ "Kodungallur". BizHat.com. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  7. ^ "Oracles Throng Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple". Oneindia. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  8. ^ "'Kavutheendal' observed at Kodungallur". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2004-03-24. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 

External links[edit]