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Hinduism: Bhagavat Gita|
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The Chottanikkara Temple is a
famous temple of the Hindu mother goddess Bhagawati. The temple is located near
Ernakulam in the southern Indian state of Kerala and is one of the most popular
temples in the state, along with Sabarimala
The Divine Mother known as Rajarajeswari (Adiparasakthi)
is worshipped here in three forms Saraswathy in the morning, Lakshmi at noon and
Durga in the evening. The temple is situated in hilly region surrounded on all
sides by undulating beauty, rich with its green turf, golden farms and provides
deep spritiual solace to the entire devotees.
This is one of the most celebrated Hindu shrines
of Kerala. Thousands of pilgrims and devotees of the Goddess visit here and make
their reverential offerings to redeem them of their afflictions. A visit to the
temple brings relief to them from the overburdening anguish and agonies of
The sacred doors of the sanctum sanctorum open
in the wee hours of the day, at 4.00 a.m. The blowing of the conch and playing
of the temple musical instruments lend an enchanting ritualistic rhythm and
peace to those who seek a sure answer to the patient prayers. Sree Mookambika
Saraswathy is also believed as present in the temple in the morning.
That is why Mookambika Temple at kollur opens
only after the Goddess Saraswathy returns to there late in the morning.
There is an Idol of Mahavishnu on the same
pedestal and so the Deity is called Ammenarayana, Devinarayana, Lakshminarayana
and Bhadrenarayana also. Along with Lakshmi & Narayana there are idols of
Brahma, Siva, Ganapathi (Ganesh), Subramanya and Sastha on the same pedestal.
On the eastern side of the temple pond stands the Kizhukkavu temple. The idol
facing westward is belived to be installed by Villwamangalam Swamiyaar.
After the Athazha pooja (main pooja in the
evening), the chief priest of the principal deity comes to Kizhukkavu to perform
the famous and great pooja "ValiyaGuruthy" (great Sacrifice). The Guruthy is
prepared in 12 cauldrons (huge vessel) and is performed at about 8.45 p.m every
Those who witness the guruthy performance, which
itself is awe inspiring and prolonged ceremony, finds it an experience which is
indescribable. Being present
here during Valiya guruthy on Fridays
permanently cures women suffering from mental abnormalities like schizophrenia.
An ancient 'Pala' tree standing on the
northeastern side of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with long iron nails
hammered on by haunted victims with their foreheads.
"MAKOM Thozhal" (worship on the Makom
day) is the most important festival of the temple which is celebrated in the
month of Kumbham. (Feb / March) It is believed that Bhagavathy in her full
attire gave darsan to Vilwamangalam Swamiyar on the Makom day and appears on the
same day every year for giving darsan to the devotees in her special appearance.
The Bhadrakaali at Kizhukkavu is believed to exorcise evil spirit from devotees,
after conducting bhajanam.
Legend has it that a ferocious dacoit by name
Kannappan who dominated this area, brought home a cow with the intent of
slaughtering it. The cow escaped his butchering knife, and set him running in
hot pursuit. His chase in vain, Kannappan returned home to find his beloved
daughter playing with the very same cow. Complying with her request, he forsake
the idea of killing the cow. His daughter passed away, and this greatly grieved
him. Goddess Bhagawati appeared in his dream, and revealed to him that it was
she who had come to him in the form of a cow. To his surprise, he saw two images
in the cowshed the following day; the images were those of Devi and Vishnu.
Kannappan built a humble shrine and worshipped the images in the cowshed.
Eventually this shrine fell under repair and was discovered later and
sanctified. It then grew into a shrine of the magnitude seen today, over a
period of time.
How to Reach
Air : International Air Port
is at Nedumbassery, near Aluva, about 22 kms away from Ernakulam,
nearest station is at Ernakulam about 17km away from
Chottanikkara. The two railway stations in Kochi are Ernakulam
Junction and Ernakulam Town. Trains from the Northern
cities/Southern parts of India stop at Ernakulam Junction.
Ernakulam Junction, D.H. Rd, Ernakulam South, Phone: 131
Ernakulam Town, Near North Bridge
Road : KSRTC Central Bus
station is near the Ernakulam Junction railway station. It runs
Express and Fast services from Ernakulam to other major cities
within Kerala and into the neighbouring states. Reciprocal
services from other States are also available. There are plenty
of private buses available for travel from Ernakulam to other
cities. They operate from High Court Junction, Railway Station
and Kaloor Junction.
( Courtesy: Chottanikkara Temple )