Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
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The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur is of great renown throughout the state of Kerala. Kodungallur situated on the west coast, was once a great port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu, It was known by the Greek as the musris. Tiruvanchikkulam, now a suburb of Kodungallur was a center of great historic significance during the chera period. 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 Bhagawati, and there is a mandapam in front of the shiva shrine, and there is none infront of Bhagawatis. The image of Bhagawati 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 jewellary.
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 worshipped Bhrama, and harassed the devas. The goddesses

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.

Makara Sankaranti coinciding with Pongal in Tamilnadu is one of the important festivals at Kodungallur. As in Taminadu, the day prior to Pongal is celebrated with the burning of unwanted belongings in a bonfire.

Makara Sankranti brings with it 4 days of colorful fanfare, with processions twice a day on elephants to the accompaniment of music, fireworks. The final day's procession is marked by the accompaniment of several women carrying plates of rice and coconut. In fact, the centermost entity in the procession, is a plate containing these offerings, on an elephant. A grand reception os offered to this procession when it reaches the temple. The procession rleaves from the original location of the Bhagawati temple, (the Kurumbayamma shrine in Kodungallur).

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 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 within 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.


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