The legendary story of the Kodungallur Bhagvathy Temple dates back to the time when the state of Kerala came into existence. In Hinduism, Parsuram is the sixth reincarnate of Lord Vishnu. A demon by the name Daruka was harassing Parashurama. With the help of Lord Shiva’s blessings, he built a shrine and installed the deity of Bhadrakali. It was Bhadrakali who destroyed the demon Daruka. Bhadrakali is the fiery form of Durga.
The temple’s main idol has eight hands. Each hand of Bhadrakali carries either a weapon or a symbol. One of the hands holds the head of the demon Daruka whom she slew. The Kodungallur Bhagvathy temple also has Idols of Ganesha and Veerabhadra. The carving of the main idol is from the wood of a jackfruit tree and is almost six feet tall. Also, the construction of the temple was done by Cheraman Perumal, who was the ruler in those days. However, the fact that Cheraman Perumal ruled Kerala around the same time is debatable.
Located amidst Peepal and Banyan trees, the Kodungallur Bhagvathy temple is built on a huge piece of land. The Namboodri brahmins have the sole right to perform all the pujas. The structure of the Kodungallur Bhagvathy temple testifies to the fact that originally the shrine was made for Lord Shiva. The belief prevalent is that the image of Kali was installed much later. Moreover, the deity of Lord Shiva is worshipped before the main goddess Bhadrakali. Beautiful precious ornaments adorn the idol of Bhadrakali.
One of the major festivals associated with the Kodungallur Bhagvathy temple is the Bharani Festival. Celebrations of the festival begin in the month of March and April. It is said that goddess Bhadrakali continued to be in a violent state even after killing the demon Daruka. To calm her down the soldiers began to sing songs. Devotees even today gather in the temple premises and sing songs to appease the goddess.
The Thalappoli festival celebration commences in the month of Makaram(January-February). Dressed in traditional attire ladies and women carry thalams (metal plates) with paddy, flowers rice and coconut. This festival is celebrated for peace and prosperity.
Featured Photo by Dr Vipin Challiyil