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Chettikulangara Devi Temple

Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi Temple is one of the most renowned temples in Kerala. The temple is located at Chettikulangara in Mavelikkara taluk of Alappuzha district in the south Indian state of Kerala. The temple is situated about 4 km west of Mavelikkara, 7 km north of Kayamkulam on SH6 (Kayamkulam - Thiruvalla Highway)

One important aspect of the temple is that the deity appears as Maha Saraswathi in the morning, as Maha Lakshmi at noon and Sri Durga or Bhadrakali in the evening.

The 1200-year-old temple has 13 Karas (territories). The temple is at the centre of the oldest four Karas–Erezha South, Erezha North, Kaitha South and Kaitha North and the rest of the Karas Kannamangalam South, Kannamangalam North, Pela, Kadavoor, Anjilipra, Mattam North, Mattam South, Menampally and Nadakkavu surround this temple.

Though enough historical evidences are not available to support, it is believed that the temple dates back to 1200 years.

Jagadambika of Chettikulangara, the Goddess of Oodanadu, is among the five Ambalayams. 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.

A major part of the Nellu offered to the Bhagavathi is also used to make Appam and Aravana prasadams at Sabarimala. It is estimated that the temple has earnings worth many crores per year. In 2009 it earned around 1.7 crore Rupees from a single type of offering called Chanthattam.

The income from the temple is also helpful to run the daily rituals and Poojas at various temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board. The temple is situated in Mavelikkara.

Location : Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Chettikulangara, Mavelikkara, Alappuzha, Kerala, India.

Gods : Sree Devi

Landmark : Nearest Airports : Nedumbassery - 120 kms, Thiruvanathapuram -120 kms. Nearest Railway Station : Five kms from the Mavelikara Railway station. 50 kms away from Aalappuzha, and devotees will have to divert at the Nangiarkulangara junction, two kms from Haripad. 10 kms from Nangiarkulangara and just 2 kms from the Thattarambalam Bhagavathi temple in the Kayamkulam - Mavelikara route. Private and KSRTC buses ply every minute in the Mavelikara - Kayamkulam route upto late night. Nearest Bus Station : 8kms away from NH 47 at Kayamkulam, in the Kayamkulam - Mavelikara route.

Festivals :

Kumbhabharani Festival – One among the Greatest Events on Earth as described by the celebrated festivals.com.

The Bharani festival celebrated in the month of Kumbham is quite an event to the people of this locality and neighbouring places. This festival celebrated with pomp and gaiety is now been widely known as the Kumbhamela of South. Lakhs of people from different parts of Kerala and abroad visit Chettikulangara to participate in this mega event.

The highlight of the festival is Kuthiyottam and Kettukazha. Kuthiyottam is performed as an important offering to the deity. This is a ritual dance practiced and perfected through several centuries. It can be witnessed in several houses of Chettikulangara and in neighbouring areas. The houses are decorated, and the portrait of the deity is installed in temporary structures. Kuthiyottam starts a week before Bharani day. It is a type of folk dance performed by youths with the accompaniment of folk music and other musical instruments.

Young boys between 8 to 14 years are taught this ritual dance in the house amidst a big social gathering before the portrait of the deity. Early in the morning on Bharani, after the feast and other rituals, the boys whose bodies are coiled with silver wires, one end of which is tied around his neck and an arecanut fixed on the tip of a knife held high over his head are taken in procession to the temple with the accompaniment of beating of drums, music, ornamental umbrellas, and other classical folk art forms, and richly caparisoned elephants.

All through the way to the temple tender coconut water will be continually poured on his body. After the circumambulation the boys stands at a position facing the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum) and begins to dance. This ceremony ends with dragging the coil pierced to the skin whereby a few drop of blood comes out.

On this day just after mid day the residents of the locality bring huge decorated effigies of Bhima panchalia, Hanuman and extremely beautiful tall chariots in wheeled platforms, and after having darshan the parties take up their respective position in the paddy fields lying east of the temple.

During the night, the image of Devi will be carried in procession to the effigies stationed in the paddy fields. On the next day these structures will be taken back.

Offerings :

Sree Bhagavati is the most important icon/prathishta of the temple. Bhagavati is facing to the East. On normal days, the poojas and offerings are done by Namboothiris. But on special days, Thanthri’s are doing the pooja. Every Tuesdays and Fridays, special poojas are offered and on Bharani days, special offerings are given to the goddess. Devotees can do a lot of offerings in this temple.

Thottam pattu, Sarpam pattu, Kuruthi, KalabhaAbhisheka, KumkumAbhisheka, Pushparchana, BhagavathiSeva, Payasam, Kadumpayasam, Thrimadura Nivedya, Nirmala & Vilakku, Archana, Udayada Charthika are some of the many offerings at the temple.

In the month of kanni, Thullam and Kumbham, Ayilya pooja is observed. This pooja is offered to the serpant gods of the temple. The serpant gods-Nagaraja and NagaYakshi are offered Nooru and Paalu.

On the first day of every month, a special ritual called Velan Pravrithi/. Othal Karma is observed. Another important offering is the lighting of the people lamp in frond of the gods Bhagavathi. A lamp with 1001 lighting points is also lighted on the first day of the every month. These are some of the special offerings at the temple.

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