Holy Pilgrimage – Kerala State - 1

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Kerala State


Attukal Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a shrine in Kerala, India. The temple is renowned for the annual Attukal Pongala festival, in which over a million women participate.  Attukal Temple is situated within 2 kilometres of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

he Goddess Kannaki (Parvathi) is the main deity in this temple. The mythology behind the temple, relates to the story of Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, son of a wealthy merchant. After marriage, Kovalan met a dancer and spent all his riches on her forgetting his wife. But when he was penniless, he went back to Kannagi. The only precious thing left to be sold was Kannagi's pair of anklets. They went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. But an anklet was stolen from the Queen which looked similar to Kannagi's. When he tried to sell it, he was mistaken for the thief and beheaded by the king's soldiers.
Kannagi got infuriated when she heard the news and rushed to the King with the second pair of anklet. She broke one of the anklets and it contained rubies while the Queen's contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse came true. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the Goddess of the city appeared before her.
It is said that on her way to Kodungalloor, Kannagi passed Attukal. She took the form of a little girl. An old man was sitting on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him whether he could help her cross it. Surprised to find the young girl alone, he took her home. But she disappeared. She came back in his sleep and asked him to build a temple where he found 3 golden lines in his grove. He went ahead and did the same, and it is said that this is at the location of the present Attukal temple.

Pongala festival

Attukal Pongala is the main festival of this temple. Millions of women gather every year in the month of Kumbham around this temple and prepare Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut as well as other ingredients) in the open in small pots to please the Goddess Kannaki.

Other festivals

The other festivals in this temple are:
1.   Mandala Vratham - Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala
2.   Vinayaka Chathurthi - Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy
3.   Pooja Vaypu - Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham)
4.   Sivarathri - Siva Pooja
5.   Karthika - Karthika Deepa
6.   Ayilya Pooja - Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent God and special rites
7.   Aiswarya Pooia - On all full moon (Pournami) days
8.   Nirayum Puthariyum (Ramayana Parayanam) - During the month of Karkadakam
9.   Akhandanama Japam - 4th Sunday of every month


Temples in Thiruvanthapuram Dist, Kerala


Sreekanteswaram is a place in the Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum), India. The place is known for the Siva temple, from which the name was derived. Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple is the original abode of the Lord of new Sreekanteswaram.
Author of Sabdatharavali, Sreekanteswaram Padmanabha Pillai hails from this place.
Sreekanteswaram is a busy residential area in the Thiruvananthapuram city and is bordered by Pazhavangadi on the east, Fort on the south and Kaithamukku on the west. The place is located around 1 km from East Fort and 2 km from Statue Junction.  The Sreekanteswaram Park and the Sreekanteswaram Siva temple are the major landmarks.

Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple

Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple or Old Sreekanteswaram Temple, located at Puthenchantha in Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the ancient Siva temples in Kerala. According to the renowned historian Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, this temple existed even in the 9 th century AD.  This temple is the original abode of the Lord of new Sreekanteswaram. The new temple is situated just outside the "North Fort" in Thiruvananthapuram. As noted by Dr. M. G. Sasibhooshan, the old temple was on the route taken by the King of Travancore and his retinue in connection with the Pallivetta of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple .The old temple might have lost its importance to the new one in the latter half of the 18th century when Chettikulangara was used by the mercenaries of Thampi siblings, the sworn enemies of Sri Vira Bala Marthanda Varma.


Lord Siva and Lord Krishna (Vishnu) are the principal deities in Old Sreekanteswaram. The linga of Sreekanteswara (Siva) is believed to be on the samadhi of Sage Kanwa. Chettikulam, a pond nearby that was reclaimed decades ago, is referred to in Syanandura Purana Samuchaya and Anantapura Varnana as Kanvatirtha.[3] This lends credence to the belief that Old Sreekanteswaram and Chettikulangara formed part of Kanwa Tapovana. The idol of Sri Krishna was installed later to reduce the ferocity of Shiva. The idols of Lord Ganesha and Serpent gods also find place in the temple. All the deities here face east.
Mritunjaya Homam, Mrityunjaya archana, Jaladhara, Pinvilakku and Kuvala mala samarpanam are the most popular offerings made to Lord Siva.

Important days

Maha Shivaratri and Thiruvathira are the days which attract huge crowds to the temple.

The Tantri of the temple

Vanchiyoor Athiyara Potti is the Tantri of the temple. The Potti is a hereditary member of the Ettara Yogam which used to be the governing body of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.


  • Morning - 5.20 to 10.30
  • Evening - 5.00 to 8.30

The management of the temple

The temple, now, comes under the control of Travancore Devaswom Board. Before it was taken over by the Board, the temple belonged to a prominent Nair tharavad by name Kovilvila.

Kovilvila Tharavad

Kovilvila Tharavad traces its roots to Valluvanad. Centuries ago, the tharavad had a Karanavar who was an advanced upasaka of Srividya sampradaya. He and his wife used a Meru Sreechakram for their worship. They had many disciples. Though they were revered by the people around, they were not in the good books of the ruler. Due to royal displeasure, the members of the tharavad had to flee to Pattazhi. From Pattazhi they moved to Thiruvananthapuram and settled there. The Karanavar and his wife continued their upasana in the land of Sri Padmanabha. After leading fruitful lives they reached the Divine Abode of Lalita Parameswari.
In course of time the family began to manage the affairs of Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple. Years rolled by. Besides Sreechakram, the family started worshipping Bhadrakali of a kalari and the great Karanavar who had attained the lotus-feet of the Divine Mother. By the blessings of Sreekanteswara and the Household Deities, the family prospered and reached great heights. But succeeding generations did not have the required degree of piety. The family is believed to have incurred the wrath of the Guardian Deities on this account. Kovilvila House, along with the chamber in which the Guardian Deities were installed, was reduced to ashes. Though the tharavad managed to rise from the ashes, it did not resume the upasana for many years.

Kovilvila Bhagavati Temple

After an elaborate Ashtamangala Prasnam in December 2006, a new temple by the name Kovilvila Bhagavati Temple was constructed in a piece of land adjacent to Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram. This piece of land belonged to Kovilvila L Parukkutti Amma, the wife of Justice K. S. Govinda Pillai. The Guardian Deities of the tharavad - Kalari Bhadrakali, Meru Sreechakram, and Karanavar - were duly installed by the Tantri Thrippunithura Puliyannoor Murali Narayanan Nambuthiripad on March 21, 2008. One-hooded Nagaraja, five-hooded Nagayakshi and Chitrakootam were installed by Amedamangalathu Vishnu Nambuthiri on the next day. Being the day of installation of the Goddess, Uthram in the month of Meenom, is the most important day in the temple calendar. Women devotees offer Pongala on that day. Ayilyam in the month of Thulam is important for the Serpent gods.

Murals in Kovilvila Bhagavati Temple

The Temple has in it grand mural paintings of Kalari Bhadrakali and Lalita Parameswari. According to Dr. M.G.Sasibhooshan, the mural of Lalita Parameswari is one of the largest of its kind.


  • Morning - 6.00 to 9.30
  • Evening - 5.30 to 7.30

Janardanaswamy Temple

Janardana Swami Temple is a 2000 year old temple situated in Varkala. It is also known as Varkala Temple. Janardana Swami is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is a very well known temple in Kerala about 10.9 km west of Kallambalam on NH 66 near sea, 25 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 2 km from Varkala-Sivagiri Railway station. It is situated near the Arabian sea shore.It is referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the south)
The temple is located close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have medicinal properties since the waters wash the nearby medicinal plants. It is also an important Ayurveda treatment centre. The temple has an ancient bell removed from a shipwreck, donated by the captain of the Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without causing any casualties.

The Deity

The main deity of this sthalam is Sri Janarthana Swami. The deity is found in standing position facing his face towards the east. His right hand is position as if he is performing "Aachamanam". His right hand is raised towards his mouth and legends say that if his hand goes nearer to his mouth, the world will come to an end. It is believed to happen at the end of the Kali Yuga.


According to the legend, attracted by the music from Narada’s Veena, Lord Vishnu started following him and reached Satyaloka. Seeing Lord Vishnu, Brahma prostrated before him. Lord Vishnu soon realized that he has reached Satyaloka but did not realize that Lord Brahma is prostrating before him and left back to Vaikunta. It seemed as if Lord Brahma is falling towards the feet of Narada and all the devas laughed. This made Brahma angry and he cursed devas to be born as humans in the earth. Devas repented their folly and begged to be forgiven. Brahma replied that the curse would be withdrawn when they do a penance to please Lord Janardana. Devas asked where that place is where they should do the penance. Brahma told them that the place where Sage Narada’s ‘Vastra’ falls will be the sacred place. It is Varkala where his ‘Vastra’ fell and Devas did the penance accordingly to get relieved of the curse.
According to Mahabharata, Balabhadran has visited the place for pilgrimage.


Offering obeisances to the departed souls and forefathers is a very important ritual. Four poojas are conducted in a day by the priest. The chief priest should compulsorily be from another place, and should not be a native of the place where the temple exists. Sub-deities are Ganapathi, Shastha, Ananthan (Nagam) Shiva, Chandikesha, and Hanuman. A ten day festival with Arattu is conducted on the Malayalam month of Meenam on the day of Uthram.


Sivagiri, Kerala

Jawaharlal Nehru "I am happy and privileged to come here and pay my tribute to a great man whose message is as vital and essential today as it was when he gave it" (Visitors Diary, Sivagiri Mutt - 25-4-1958)
 Sivagiri is a pilgrimage centre in Varkala, India where one of its social reformer and sage Sree Narayana Guru's tomb is located and place where guru was enlightened and got the salvation. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days 30 December to 1 January.
The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. Even decades after the guru died here in 1928; his samadhi continues to be thronged by thousands of devotees, donned in yellow attire, from different parts of Kerala and outside every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days - 30 December to 1 January.
The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of his disciples and saints, established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'. The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the samadhi day are celebrated in August and September respectively every year. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group wedding and rituals mark the celebrations.


The Sarada temple and mutt has now become a unique place of pilgrimage. The Sri Narayana Jayanthi, birthday of the Guru, and the Samadhi day are befittingly celebrated in August and September respectively every year. On these days colourful processions, seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts and special rituals are held. In the last week of December, devotees of Sree Narayana Guru, donned in yellow attire stream to Sivagiri from different parts of Kerala and outside, in what may be called a pilgrimage of enlightenment. Seminars and discussions on various themes of modern life ranging from industrialisation to women's emancipation are held during the days of pilgrimage. The Mahasamadhi of Sree Narayana Guru also attracts a large number of devotees and tourists.



Varkala (Malayalam : വര്‍ക്കല ) is a coastal town and municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district situated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is located 50 kilometres (approx. 32 miles) north-west of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and 37 km south-west of Kollam city.


Sarkaradevi Temple, Kerala

Sarkaradevi Temple is one of the most important temples in South India. It is situated South of the Chirayinkeezhu Taluk (in the North-West of Thiruvananthapuram district). The nearest town is Varkala and Attingal. Tradition accords a remote antiquity to this temple. Its main deity is Bhadrakali. The Sarkaradevi Temple assumed a significant status for many reasons and rose to historical importance mainly with the introduction of the famous Kaliyoot festival by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the Travancore sovereign, in 1748.The Sarkaradevi Temple have some basic attachment with Nakramcode Devi Temple which located in Avanavanchery,Attingal.


Chirayinkeezhu Taluk being directly under the immediate administration of the Attingal Swarupam, the Attingal Ranis where entrusted by the TravancoreRaja with the conduct of the elaborate festival of Kaliyoot. The Attingal Rani being related to the Travancore royal family through adoption from the Kolathunadu royal family. From the time of Venad Kings, had enjoyed independent rights in several respects over the neighbouring regions and temples and at times even over the entire Venad. Even the King Marthanda Varma annexed Attingal to Travancore, soon after ascending the throne Marthanda Varma decided to assume direct control over Attingal 'estate'. The Ranis seem to have been allowed to continue in their independent status in many respects. Hence it was no wonder that when the former decided to introduce Kaliyoot festival in the Sarkaradevi Temple of Chirayinkeezhu Division, he entrusted the responsibility to the Attingal Ranis, even though the finances came directly from the Travancore royal treasury.
Famous Film Actor Prem Nazir donated one elephant to the Sarkara Devi Temple.
The Attingal Ranis in the turn bestowed the members of the military family of Ponnora Panickers (When two princesses were adopted from Kolathunad, some senior members of the Ponnara family are said to have accompanied them as bodyguards to Attingal, where the former were settled by the Venad Kings. The descendents of the family are still residing there, with the responsibility of supervising the grand festival. Even now the responsibility is continuing with the descendents of the Ponnara family. One of the most important peculiarities of this temple is that it is the only temple in South Kerala where such elaborate Kaliyoot festival is conducted. Another festival which makes the temple the center of attraction is the Meenabharani mahotswavam which is conducted for ten days in the month of March–April every year.



The chief festival in the temple is the festival of kaliyoot, which falls on the Malayalam month of kumbham (March). Kali, the Mother of goddess is the deity of farmers. It is evident from the inclusion of the fictitious interpretations of agricultural art traditions in the rituals of the art form of Kaliyoot. Kaliyoot is the dramatic presentation of the genesis of Bhadrakali and Darika the representatives of good and evil respectively, their confrontation and later the extermination of Darika in devotional terms and with rhythmic footsteps. Kaliyoot is a synthesis of older agrarian art tradition is a further established by the fact that the time chosen for performing Kaliyoot after Makara Koithu (the Malayalam month of Makaram corresponds to March and in the season of the second harvest season in Kerala. Koithu is a Malayalam term for harvest ) and that Kali appears under the guise of a pulaya (the pulaya caste is the traditional agricultural labouring community in Kerala.) girl in the Kali drama.

And also Meenabharani Festival is celebrated here

Venkatachalapathy Temple, Kerala

Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Trivandrum, Kerala, about a minute walk from the southern gate of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It is also known as Srinivasar kovil, Perumal Kovil, Iyyengar Kovil or Desikar Sannidhi. The temple was built in 1898. The pooja's in kerala temples are based on the Namboodiri sambradayam, instead this is the only temple in Kerala dedicated to Vaishanavite Vadakalai Sambradayam.


The deity of this temple is Sri Venkatachalapathy. It is said that one Ranga Iyengar of Veeravanallur saw the idol in a pond near his house around 100 years ago.
The idol was installed by Sree Ranganatha Satagopa Yateendra Mahadesikar, 40th Azhkiya Singar according to the 'Paadmasamhitai' (One among the three Samhitais) of the 'Paancharathra Agamanam'. As per the instructions of the Jeer, the eldest son in Ranga Iyengar's family has been the main priest of the temple and has also in charge of its administration for the last three generations. The daily rituals in the temple are being carried out according to the Vadakalai System.


Though the spiritual origin of the temple can be traced to Tamil Nadu, the temple does not have a 'Gopuram'. However the temple cannot also be said to be according to the Kerala style as the Sreekovil is plain construction, devoid of the intricate carvings so common in Kerala temples. The temple had a terrace(another feature of the Tamil style).


The temple's main deity in the Garba Graha is SriVenkatachalapathyPerumal. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idols of Alamelu Mangai Thayar and Padmasini Thayar. There are also shrines for the Hindu deities Navaneetha Krishnar(Santhana Gopalan), Peria Thiruvadi, Garudar.; in this temple.
The temple also has an installation of the idol of Kulasekhara alwar, who ruled over this land many centuries ago. As a mark of respect to the king who was a devont Vaishnavite, a sannidhi has been constructed where along with the idol of Kulasekhara Alwar the idols of Nammalwar, Thirumangai alwar, Bashyakarar(Ramanujar). Are also consecrated Vishwarksenar(is said to be the escort of Sree Venkitachalapathy).

Darshan, Sevas and festivals

Most of the Vaishnava festivals including Vaikunta Ekadasi, Thiru Aadi pooram and Aadi Swathi, Janmashtami, Alwar Thirunakshtram are celebrated. During other national and religious festivals Pongal, Deepavali, Vishu & Onam temple are decorated with lights and flowers.
Desikar was born under the constellation of Sravana in the month of Purattasi of Vibhava year as per the Tamil Almanac. [September - October 1269 AD]. Every year in the month of Purattasi Brahmotsavam conducted here. The festival starts from 10 days before the Thiruvonam day(Desikar Thirunakshatram). In these days, the Special Abhishekams also done for All Moolavar & Utsavar deities. And in the Evening Vedam and Divya Prabhanda Parayanam conducteed here. On these days Perumal goes through the Maada Veethi (this ritual is called as the “perumal purapadu”). The festival ends with Theertha Vaari for Venkatachalapathy Perumal & Vedanta Desikar.
An attractive feature of the festival is the Garuda Vahanam, where the main deity placed a top the idol of Garuda is taken out in procession on a richly decorated palanquin that resembles the one on which Lord Vishnu is taken out during the Theerthavari at the Padmanabhaswamy temple. The Garuda Vahanam is taken out on all the Saturdays of the Purattasi month.
In Maargazhi, the important festival of this month is the recital of Thirupavai. The poems were composed by “Andal” an important devotee of Lord Perumal. Next to this comes the vaikunda ekadasi festival in which perumal use to be seen in Sayana alangaram (Like in Thiru parkadal)


Offerings made to the deity include Puliyogare (Tamarind Rice), Dhadhyonam (Curd Rice), Pongal, Chakkarai Pongal, Ellodarai (Sesame Rice), Kheer, Amrutha Kalasam and Chakkarai Sundal.


Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple, Kerala

Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple (Malayalam: ഇരുംകുളങ്ങര ദുര്‍‌ഗ്ഗാ ക്ഷേത്രം) is a Hindu temple in Thottam, Manacaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. It is about two kilometres to the southeast of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram city. 


The abode of Sree Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi is one of the most ancient temples in Kerala. The temple is located on the bank of two ponds from where it got its name: "irum" means two and "kulam" means pond. It is hard to find any other temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which preserves the beauty and atmosphere gifted by nature.
It is believed that the temple has a relationship with the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, one of the famous temples in Thiruvananthapuram. In ancient times, priests from Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple are believed to arrive at Irumkulangara by country boats for performing pooja and rituals.

Events and architecture

Unlike other Durga devi temples, rituals like Thottampaattu and Ottam are restricted here. Red coloured flowers, except thetti, are banned. Other flowers such as tulsi, jasmine, lotus, Nandyarvattom, etc. are used.
A kavu (small forest patch) which houses the serpent Gods is common in Travancore. The pond in front of the temple gives a beautiful reflection of it. The Temple Thanthri Brahmasree Tharananalloor Parameshwaran Namboodiripad (same as Sree Padmanabhaswamy and Koodalmanikyam temples) and now the temple is under the control of Sree Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple Trust.
It has been recently renovated with a new chuttambalam and sivelippura which is an excellent example of Kerala Vasthu Vidya and temple architecture in the new age. The renovation was carried out under the guidance of noted Vastu Shasthra expert Kanippayyur Krishnan Namboodiripad; the temple architect was Manacaud S Narayanamoorthy.

Deities and sub-deities

The Goddess Durga is the main deity in this temple. One important aspect of the temple is that the deity appears as Durgabhagavathi, an avatar of AdiParasakthi. Karthika is considered as the star of the deity.
There are many upadevathas (sub-deities) adjacent to the temple, and it has remaded, according to the Deva Prashnam by expert astrologers recently.
The main upadevathas on the premises are
1.   Lord Ganesh
2.   Nagaraja
3.   Brahmarakshassu
4.   Maadan Thampuran
5.   Sri Bhairava Moorthy
6.   Navagrahas
We can see a kavu (grove) which houses the serpent gods and is common in Travancore. The temple kavu was awarded by Kerala Government Department of Forest and Wildlife as one of the best maintained.
Last year  the temple created a Nakshtravanam (trees relating to birth stars) on the premises.


The Painkuni Mahothsavam, the major festival of the temple, is mostly held in the month of March, lasts for 10 days and ends with Pongala and Ezhunnallathu. In 2011, Painkuni Mahothsavam was from March 29 to April 8. The main Ulsavam was on April 7.
The other festivals in this temple are:
  • Mandala Vratham — Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala.
  • Vinayaka Chathurthi — Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy.
  • Pooja Vaypu — Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham).
  • Karthika — Kazhchakula Samarpanam, Navakabhishekam, Karthika Pongala, Annadhanam (all months).
  • Ayilya Pooja — Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent god and special rites. Monthly Pooja in Ayilyam day except in the months of Mithunam and Karkidakom.
  • Ayilyolsavam — Nagaroottu and Sarpabali in the month of Thulam by Pambumekkattumana Karanavar Brhamasri P S Sreedharan Namboodiripad.
  • Ramayana Parayanam and BhagavathiSeva — All days of Karkidakom (evening).
  • Vavu Bali — In the month of Karkidakom.

Thaliyadichapuram Sree Mahadeva Temple

Thaliyadichapuram Sree Mahadeva Temple is a Hindu temple located in Nemom, 7 km from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The word 'Thali' refers to a Shiva temple; however, the temple complex also houses shrines Lord Ganesh , Lord Ayappa and Nagaraja.
This temple is one of the few Thali temples in Kerala.

Vellayani Devi Temple

The Vellayani Devi Temple is a highly revered shrine in Kerala, India. Shrine is situated in Vellayyani 1.5 km west of Vellayani junction, 12 km southeast of Thiruvananthapuram on the eastern bank of Vellayani Lake.  The temple is under the management of Travancore Devaswom Board.


The temple enshrines Goddess Bhadrakali as the presiding deity. The idol stands for Goddes Bhadrakali the daughter of Lord Shiva. The idol is is known in the local Malayalam language as Thirumudi. The wooden idol of the Goddess is the largest one among the idols of Kerala temples.  The idol is four and a half feet in height as well as width. Pure gold and precious stones decorate the frontal view of the idol.
Other deities worshiped at the Vellayani Devi temple in smaller diesties called upadevatha's temples include Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh and Nagaraja. The temple also has a small sub-temple where another deity Madan Thampuran is enshrined.
In the temple Antler is also worshipped. The circulating notion about this is that the antler serves as a medium to invoke the spirit of the divinity at a new-built temple. One of the antlers kept in the sanctum sanctorum oriented towards the east is from the thekkathu


Vellayani Devi Temple is renowned for celebrating the longest non pilgrimage festival of South India which takes place in between 50 to 60 days. This festival held once in 3 years usually between February and April. The festival is known as the Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam – which literally means ‘the festival to sumptuously feed Devi’.[6] Kaliyoottu is the dramatic presentation of the genesis of Bhadrakali and Darika the representatives of good and evil respectively, their confrontation and later the extermination of Darika in devotional terms and with rhythmic footsteps.
Many of the customs are exclusively performed by certain classes of people which includes.

Karadikottu, Kalamkaval , Uchabali, Paranettu, Nilathilpporu, Arattu, Pongal


Legend says that a Kollan (blacksmith) named Kelan Kulasekhara saw a frog with divine spirit of Goddess near Vellayani Lake. He caught the divine frog with the help of his assistant who belong to a low caste. They informed the matter to the Nair chieftains of the locality and with their help Kelan Kulasekhara consecrated the Thiru Mudi (idol) in which divine spirit is evoked. The right to perform Uchabali (a ritual connected with festival of the temple) is still holded by the Nair families. Priest of the temple is not belonging to Brahmin community but a selected person belonging to the Kollan (blacksmith) community.

Kali - Darika Myth

Darika was a demon who received a boon from Brahma which granted that he would never be defeated by any man living in any of the fourteen worlds of Hindu mythology. This made Darika immensely powerful and arrogant. Armed with this boon, Darika went on to conquer the world defeating even Indra, the king of the gods. As his atrocities became intolerable, the sage Narada requested Shiva to contain Darika. Shiva agreed, circumventing Brahma's boon by declaring that Darika would be killed by the goddess Kali, she being a woman and one not born among the humans.

Karikkakom Devi Temple, Kerala

Karikkakom Devi Temple is a temple situated seven kilometers east of Trivandrum. Surrounded on all sides by the panoramic evergreen scenery, rich with coconut palms and other fauna in the land of backwaters and channals rest the Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple which is one of the most ancient and renowned shrines of Kerala. In accordace with the ancient architectural principles, under the guidance and supervision of Sree Kkanipayoor Krishnan Nampoothiri the first stage of the construction of the Sreekovil sub shrines Mukha Mandapam and Chuttu Madapam completed. The reinstallation of the panchaloha Idol of the Goddess followed by tantric rituals was performed on 21.03.1997 under the supervision of Bhrahmasree Rishimangulam Vasudeva potti. Earlier the temple was opend to devotees only on Sunday, Thused and Friays. But after the reinstatlion, poojas, regularly performed form morning 5 am up to 11.30 am and in the evening from 5 pm to 8 pm. The temple stands as a legacy of our ancient culture, were thousands of devotess come every day to offer their prayers regardless of caste, creed and race. In the main shrine reststhe Goddess andon the north side are the shirnes of awesome Rektha Chamundi, Bhala Chamundi, and other sub shrines of shastha. Vinayaka and Yogiswaran. Yakshi Amma, Bhuvanesweri, Ayira valli etc. are also there. just to the northern side of the Devi Temple, there is an old house known as Guru Mandiram. This is believed to be the ancestral house or Tharavadu of the Yogiswaran who had brought Devi to this place. Out side the Devi Temple wall, Nager Kavau and pond belonging to the tmple are located. This Nager kavu is rich in numerous varieties of trees and creepers as well as medical plants. To remove Sarpa dosha, devotees can offer Ayilla Puja and Nurum palum, Archana for Nagar and more every month on the Ayilyam day. Udayasthamana puja, pushbabhishekam, Iswaraseva, etc., are the major poojas of the temple.

 Festivals are celebrated grandly here in the main festivals


Mithrananthapuram Trimurti Temple, Kerala

The Mithrananthapuram Trimurti Temple is a temple complex in Kerala, India. Mithrananthapuram Thrimoorthy Temple is the only temple in Kerala where devotees can worship all the Trimurti's (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). Temple is located on the western side of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvanathapuram.


Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma as primary deities of the complex. Lord Brahma is in a sitting posture and Lord Vishnu is in a standing posture. All deities are facing east.  Lord Ganesh, Nagaraja as sub deities.


No authentic records are there to know the origin and antiquity of the temple. However, the temple is as old as Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Previously this was a subsidiary unit of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The administrators of Travancore kingdom used to worship in the temple before they took important decision. According to Syanandura Purana, the temple was constructed in the year 1168 A.D. Historical records show that the temple was renovated in the year 1196 A.D. and some land was submitted to the deities in 1344 AD. The temple was again renovated in the year 1748 by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. Earlier, the temple was under the control of Ettara Yogam. Now temple administration is vested with the Travancore Devaswom Board. From the very beginning, the administration of this temple was jointly supervised by the Travancore and the Cochin kings.


Legend says that Villwamangalath Swamiyar consecrated the idols of the temple. It is also believed that the Trimurtis conducted a great fire yajna here, to the Sun God, Mithra, thus the complex is known as Mithrananthapuram, 'the town which gave happiness to the Sun'


Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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