Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple or Sri Kurumba Devi Temple is located at Kodungallur in Thrissur District of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to goddess Bhadarakali and is fondly called as "Kodungallooramma" by devotees and is one of the famous devi temples in Kerala among others like Chottanikkara Devi Temple, Attukal Devi temple and Kadampuzha devi temple.
On the southern side of Kerala, there is Kanyakumari devi which at present is situated in Tamilnadu district and on the northern side of Kerala, there is Mookambika devi. The devi idol is made of wood craved from Jack fruit tree and it has eight hands that carries various weapons and symbols.
Historical Aspect of the Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
There are many historical aspects surrounding this temple. We would be covering the most popular two beliefs.
The Kali Devi temple is known as the place of Kannagi. There are certain historical facts that the temple idol initially was that of Lord Shiva and the devi Kali image was installed at later stages.
Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple is supposed to be installed by Bhargava Raman who had also installed three more Devi temple at three boundaries of Kerala. The popular belief is that the powerful Devi idol was installed to save the devotees form the chickenpox epidemic.
The pooja rituals of this temple are not being performed by Brahmins as this was originally a Dravidian temple. This temple is also famous for removing the caste restrictions that was prevalent in the old times in Kerala.
Temple premises and idols of Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
The temple is in middle of an area that is spread across ten acres and the temple is surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The sreekovils of the temple is facing to the north side which is considered to be the wealthier side as per Hindu Mythology and the western chamber of the temple is the abode of the seven mothers or Sapthamatrukas which also faces the northern side.
The chamber also consists of Ganapathi idol and veerabahadra idol that is facing east and west side. The idol of Lord Shiva is facing the eastern side and it is believed that the offerings should be first done to Lord Shiva and then to Devi. It is believed that the pooja done in this temple is instructed by the Devi herself. It is also believed that Adi Shankaracharya had installed five chakras from which the Devi assumes supreme power.
On the left side of the temple there is ‘Samadhi of Vysoori'. This is a walled enshrine and it is believed to bring miraculous cure to certain ailments like small pox, chicken pox, mumps and other contagious diseases. The devotees offer turmeric powder here to get cure.
Fifty meters left to the ‘Samadhi of Vysoori' there is Pushkarini or sacred pond where the devotees will take bath before entering the main shrine. The belief is that Devi herself constructed the pond by using her sword.
Festivals of Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
Kodungallur Devi Temple is famous for celebrations and the first one is Kodungallur Bharani festival in the Malayalam month of Kumbha (February - March) and the second most important festival is the Kodungallur Thalappoli Festival in the Malayalam month of Makara (December-January).
1. Kodungallur Bharani Festival
Temple is famous for celebrations and the first one is Kodungaloor Bharani festival in the Malayalam month of Kumbha (February - March) and the second most important festival is the Thalappoli Festival in the Malayalam month of Makara (December-January).
What is Bharani?
Bharani is one of the stars of Indian Astrology and this is considered as the star of Devi Kali and she is respected as the goddess of success.
The Kodungallur Bharani festival starts with 'Kozhikkallu moodal' that involves the sacrifice of cocks and shedding of blood. This is done to appease goddesses Kali. Large number of Velichapads comes to the temple on the Kavu Theendal day and they will be dressed in red with hair in untied fashion and they would be using their swords and would create an electric atmosphere.
The velichapads would be running around the temple and they would throw the objects inside to the temple.The velichapads would be singing songs in praises of Kali Devi and that would associate with the farming, culture and mother earth.
Another highlight of this Kodungallur Bharani is the abuses that is being sung by the devotees and that would be sexually explicit - Bharanippattu. The devotees would shake swords in their fist with jingling bells in their waist to participate in the Bharani Festival and this is spread across as a positive energy to the onlookers. The komarams both male and female will adorn their feet with beautiful bronze anklets and hold the long sword which looks like a curved sickle. Their hair will be falling to the shoulders and male komarams or velichapads will be wearing extra ornaments to resemble Kali goddess.
The majority of the pilgrims come from the northern districts of Kerala such as Palakkad, Kannur and Wyanad. The majority of the people who flock at the temple are agricultural workers and they come to Kodungallur in the aftermath of the harvest season. The festival acquires for them the significance of a fertility rite and to please Goddess Kali.
Kavu Theendal, the pollution ceremony, which is part of the Bharani festival, is overseen by the Kodungallur king and the festival ceremony would begin with the unfurling of red ceremonial umbrella over the king's head.
The festival is connecting well with the life of Kannagi. The husband of Kannagi’s husband was punished due to the act of selfish royal gold smith and after the death of the husband, Kannagi proved the justice in the royal court of Pandiya king in Madurai and afterwards she burnt the whole city.
The ritual will begin with a terrific scene. Krishnapakshies or Eagles will fly just at the top of the secret chamber before the arrival of goldsmith as a ritualistic process and the goldsmith will arrive at the scene. Goldsmith will ring a bell and men wearing white dress will chase the goldsmith around the temple three times followed by the komarams and they will be beating the temple with sticks. The followers will be hurling things on the temple roof which is a symbolic representation of shedding the materialistic things.
This process will take place three times and the komarams would fall before the king for blessing. The temple would be closed for a week and the doors would reopen after cleansing.
History of the Bharani Festival
This temple is dedicated to Kali goddess and this temple is considered as a dedication to Kannagi who lived before 2000 years.The Chera king Chenguttuvan and his queen Venmol has been considered as the key persons who have erected the temple. Elango adikal who was the younger brother of the king wrote the historical epic of Kannagi as Chilappathykaaram.
Importance of Bharani Festival
Normally Hindu temple festival will be concentrating more on the temple rituals and temple deity. Here in this festival the devotees will get into spiritual trance and that positive energy is spread to all those who are there.
You can witness the shedding of ego of a person by watching male and female komarams. The male komarams will shed their ego by growing long hair, by keeping their face as shaved, and will darken their eyes with kajal, and will redden their lips with lipstick so that they resemble Devi. Women komarams will shed their egos by changing their own identity and they will transform their position as daughters, mothers and grandmothers. They would be running around the temple which would be flocked by more than 1000 persons and this is the real beauty of this festival.
From the symbolism of the cock-stone ceremony with which the festival opens to the big sound making of the komarams which form its climax, blood is the common symbol that comes to the fore.
2. Kodungallur Thalappoli Festival
The festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Makaram (January–February) and this usually falls along with the Pongal festival of Tamil Nadu.On the evening of the Makara Sankranthi, the four day festival will start. There will be processions twice a day that will be done on elephants and there will be music (Pancha Vadyam, Paancari, Paandi melam, etc), fireworks to accompany it.
What is Thalappoli?
There will be procession by women in the final day and they will carry a Thalappoli or carrying plates that contain rice and coconut. There will be an elephant in the center of this procession and a person will carry the Thalappoli that contains the same material as carried by the women. A grand reception is offered to the festival when it reaches the temple premises.
Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple Pooja Timing
Opening of Nada and Nirmalaya Darshanam: 04.00 a.m.
- Usha pooja: 06.30 am.
- Closing of Nada in afternoon: 12.00 pm.
- Evening Nada Opening: 04.00 pm.
- Deepardhana: 06.15 pm.
- Closing of Nada in night: 08.00 pm.
The Main pooja or offerings at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
- Valiya Guruthy
- Guruthy Pushpanjali
- Rektha Pushpanjali
- Lalitha Sahasranamam
- Sathru samhara pushpanjali
- Mahishasura mardini pushpanjali
Special Pooja at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
- Appam nivedyam
Dress code at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
- For Women: Any traditional dress code like Saree, Churidar, Salwar Kameez, or Pavadai Chattai can be used.
- For Men: Mundu is the best dress to visit the devi.
How to get to Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
- Nearby Railway station: Ernakulam 30 km away and Thrissur 38 km away are the major railway stations close to Kodungallur town. Irinjalakuda railway station lies just 22 km away and the other railway station that is close is the Aluva railway station.
- Nearby Airport: Cochin International Airport 35 km away.The airport has well connected services to major cities of India and has many international services also.
- By Road: Kodungallur is well connected by NH17 and there are many Kerala government buses and private buses that ply through this town and is well connected with nearby places.
Contact address and phone number for Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
Address: Devaswom officer, Sree Kodungallur Bhagavathy Devaswom, Kodungallur, Thrssur.