Kodungallur Bhagavati Temple

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kodungalloor templeKodungallur Bagavathy temple - believed to have been constructed during the reign of Chera King, Cheran Senkuttuvan, is famous for its Bharani and Thalappoli festival. The temple requires the pilgrim to carry pepper and turmeric powder as one of the offerings to the deity.

The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagavati temple is one of the grandest in Kerala. It is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. Traditionally the temple (especially during the Bharani festival) has been associated with a lot of animal sacrifices. These customs have been done away with in the 20th century. The blood of the sacrificed used to be spilled over two stones in the prakaram, and as mentioned above, this practice is now stopped.William Logan, a social historian of Kerala, noted in 1887 that, "after Onam, the national festival, Kodungallur Bharani was the most important celebration in Kerala.

King Cheran Senguttuvan is said to have built the temple to Kannagi - a manifestation of Kaali or Kotravai or Durga, here (Silappadikaaram).

It is believed to have been a Shiva temple originally, as worship is offered first to Shiva before being offered to Bhagavati, and there is a mandapam in front of the shiva shrine, and there is none in front of Bhagavatis. The image of Bhagavati is believed to have been carved out of a jack fruit three. The face of the image is covered with a mask, and the image is decorated with several pieces of jewelery created Bhramani, Vaishnavi, Maheswari, Kaumari, Varahi and Indrani from Bhrama, vishnu, Mahadeva, Kumara, Yama and Indra, and they were defeated by Daaruka, however Shiva created Kaali and she killed Daaruka.The image of Kali faces east. This image is believed to be a personification of Kali, who had killed the demon Daaruka. Daaruka is said to have worshiped Bhrama, and harassed the devas.

There is a crimson cloth hung on the western wall of the sanctum and worship is offered here. There is also a secret chamber east of the Kali image, with an underground passage. Also is a shrine to Kshetrapala, the guardian deity and Vasurimala associated with small pox. The festivals of significance at Kodungallur are Makara Sankaranti and the Bharani Festival.

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