Welcome to the official website of Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Kerala, India
About Temple

Many followers of the theory of Kerala’s genesis by Parasurama firmly believe that he had established 108 Durga temples, 108 Siva temples, numerous Sasthatemples, besides 108 Kalaris (place to learn traditional martial arts in front of the deity), Sakthi Kendras etc. Besides he had established five Ambalayas. Jagadambika of Chettikulangara, the Goddess of Oodanadu, is among the five Ambalayams. Though enough historical evidences and authentic study materials are not available to support, it is believed that this temple dates back to more than 1200 years.

According to one version, this temple was consecrated by Padmapadacharyar (a leading disciple of Adi Shankara) on the Uthrittathi day of Makara month in A.D. 823. There is a firm argument that the goddess here was a family deity, and later emerged as the village and regional deity. Local historians oppose the argument that the temple is not as ancient as the nearby Kandiyoor Mahadeva temple or Mavelikara Krishna Swamy temple as it had not been mentioned in Unnuneeli Sandesam written in the 14th century. According to late Kandiyoor Mahadeva Shasthri, Samudra Bandhan – a leading courtier of Ravi Varman, an ancient King of Venad had visited this temple and wrote poems on Bhagavathi.Similarly Aadithya Kulasekharan, the King of Venad (1374 A.D. to 1389 A.D.) also had visited the Chettkulangara temple, argues them.

On Prathishta

There is also an argument that the present premises of the temple belonged to a big ‘Kavu’ (a traditional Central Travancore small sacred forest) and the Mahashilayuga Vigraha of Bhagavathi was relocated from ‘Moolasthanam’ to this place. (Some argue the place belonged to a marshy land). According to the directions of Padmapadacharya, temporary consecration was performed by Chengannur Thazhaman Thanthri and Kattuvallil Valakkod Illam Namboodiri.

A year later, Padmapadacharyar came here, and Prathishta Karma was performed after 21 days of rituals headed by 31 Brahmanas. Jagadambika’s chaithanyam (divine power) was absorbed into a Sri Chakra with Saptha Dalas (seven spokes representing Saptha Mathrukkal). The Prathishta here is said to be in Rurujith style, and has Thamoguna along with Sathva and Rajo Gunas. In order to reduce the intensity of the Prathishta’s mounting fierce powers, an imaginary Mahavishnu prathishta is believed to be in place near the Prathishta. On the Bharani day of every month, the Kshethram Thanthri performs Poojas to reduce the mounting powers of the prathishita.

A few centuries ago, a Salagrama donated by the Kayamkulam Maharaja was also installed inside the Garbhagriham of Sreekovil. The Ganapathi Vigraha, adjacent to the Sreekoil is believed to be donated by the Aazhvancheri Thamprakkal during the time of consecration. Pooja styles include Thrimadhuram, Cherupayasam and Malar (Corn rice) in the morning with prayers for Bhagavathi conceived as Maha Saraswathi, Uchapooja or lunch with Koottupayasam, Palpayasam and prayers offered as Maha Lakshmi, Atthazha Pooja or dinner with Neyyappam and Neypayasam with prayers for the deity conceived as Sri Durga or Bhadrakali.

Sponsored by various Karas, 41 days of Kalamezhuthu and Pattu is conducted since first of Vrichikam every year. On the last day, Puram Kurithi ( homicide outside) is performed. Its Prasadam is capable of providing immunity against Small Pox and similar contagious diseases, believe the locals.

Sponsored by various Karas, 41 days of Kalamezhuthu and Pattu is conducted since first of Vrichikam every year. On the last day, Puram Kurithi ( homicide outside) is performed. Its Prasadam is capable of providing immunity against Small Pox and similar contagious diseases, believe the locals.

Offerings

1001 VilakkuDevotee offerings include Kumkumarchana, Raktha Puzhpanjali, Panthirunazhi, Bhagavathi Seva, various types of Payasams, Niramala and Vilakku, Chanthattam (advance booking is necessary for this very special Abhishekam (bathing the diety) performed with a distilled black coloured liquid that oozes from burnt teak wood.), Udayada, lighting the Aaluvilakku (both outside and inside), Archana, Vedi, garlands etc. Special Poojas are performed on Tuesday, Friday and Sundays. Bhagavathi’s ‘Ezhunnallathu’ [The deity is taken out and goes round the temple thrice on Jeevatha - Palanquin, with her entourage] is performed on Bharani days since Vrichikam to Meenam. Devi will be taken out on ‘Kai Vattaka’ by Melshanthi during the Ezhunnallathu of Vrichika Masam.

Thottampattu

It is an important ritual performed at the Pattambalam in the temple premises during the 13 day Ethirelppu festival. Bhadrakali’s Mudi (imaginary hair of Devi – a blackboard size wooden piece with Bhadrakali’s sculpted portrait) is brought to the temple by the people of Erezha South as part of their Urulicha, and will be installed at the Pattambalam. Thottampattu is performed before this Mudi with necessary rituals and Orukku (preparations and paraphernalia). Kuruppassans of a family from Kaniyapuram near Trivandrum sings Thottampattu, (songs aimed to invoke Bhadrakali) thrice during every day of the festival.

Bhadrakali’s Mudi (imaginary hair of Devi – a blackboard size wooden piece with Bhadrakali’s sculpted portrait.

Mainly, the traditional songs in Thottampattu include Darika Vadham (Killing of Darika), Balaka’s birth etc. People believe that children would cure and develop immunity from Sanni (fits) and Pakshi Badha (possibly, an ancient local term for Polio) by hearing Thottampattu, a main ritual at Bhadrakali temples of Central Travancore. (See the legend related to Thottampattu in Aithyhyams section…)

There are many Upadevathas adjacent to the temple, and a few Prathishtas were either revamped or added according to the Deva Prashnam by expert astrologers recently.

The main Upadevathas in the temple premises are Yakshi (a typical Central Travancore concept of bewitchingly attractive fairy witches who feed on human blood, especially that of children, and with super natural powers), Muhurthi, Rakshas (a fierce super natural creature who feed on humans), Thevara Moorthy, Kannamballi bhagavathi, Ganapathi, Nagarajav (King of serpents), Naga Yakshi, Balakan, Vallyachan ( Central Travancore parlance for family chieftains, and they are worshipped by his descendants after death) etc. Besides, there is a small temple for Moolasthanam. A Kavu (a patch of small forest which houses the serpent Gods, and is common in central Travancore). Karimbana (Black palm tree) and the nearby Chembakam tree in the premises are also places of worship on the belief that they houses Gandharvas and Yakshis, the fairytale supernatural elements who accompany Bhagavathy, their master, during her trips ‘ termed as Varutthu Pokku’ in local parlance.

As followed for many centuries, still elephants are not taken to the western side of the Nalambalam, fearing that the fairy creatures residing at the Chembakam may kill them.

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