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Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple

Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple (alternatively Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple) is a Hindu temple at Kodungallur, Thrissur district, Kerala state, India. The idol of the goddess Bhadrakali (popularly known as "Kodungallur Amma") in the temple is unique as it has eight hands with various attributes. One is holding the head of an Asura, another a sword, next an anklet, another a bell, and so on. Routine worship at the temple every day at 03:00 and ends at 21:00 local time. Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple is perhaps a memorial built by a Chera king to Kannaki, heroine of Ilamkovadigal's Tamil classic Silappathikaram.It is believed to be a former Budhhist shrine, later converted as a Hindu temple. During the reign of Later Cheras, Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur) was the capital of the state and one of the most important parts of the region. kodungallur bhagavathy temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali. The temple is situated in the middle of a plot of land about ten acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The Srikovil is facing north. The western chamber of the inner temple is the seat of Sapthamatrukas (seven mothers) who also face north. The idols of Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are also found in the chamber, one facing east and the other facing west respectively. The idol of bhagawati is about six feet high and made of wood, carved from a jackfruit tree. The idol has eight arms which carry various weapons and symbols. Bhagawati Temple is also referred to as the abode of Kannaki. The latter was believed to be an incarnation of Kali and as a result a temple was erected in her memory in Kodungallur. Certain features of the structure of the Kodungallur temple point to the fact that, originally, it was a Shiva shrine and that the image of Kali was installed later. The idol of Shiva faces east and that of Kali north. The practise in the temple is to offer pooja and naivedyam first to Lord Shiva and then to the Devi. 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 in front 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 jewellry.

Location : Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple, Kodungallur, Thrissur, Kerala, India.

Gods : Bhadrakali

Landmark : The coastal highway NH 17 connecting Cochin to Mumbai passes through this town and the construction of bypass for NH 17 already started and completed within 15 months. Kodungallur is well connected by KSRTC buses and private transport buses. It have a private bus stand and KSRTC bus stand in the town. The town is connected to Kochi (30 km), Thrissur (38 km) and Guruvayur (50 km). Nearest Railway Station : The nearest railhead to Kodungallur is located at Irinjalakkuda, at a distance of 22 km away. Only a few express trains stop here. The major railway station near to Kodungallur is Aluva Railway Station. Nearest Airports : The nearest airport to Kodungallur is Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, at a distance of 35 km away. The airport is well connected to all major airports in India and also connected to many foreign cities. Direct flights are available to Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Festivals :

Bharani festival
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 Kumbham to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Meenam. It normally falls between the months of March and April.
The festival usually starts with the ritual called 'Kozhikkallu moodal' which involves the sacrifice of cocks and shedding of their blood, which forms an important feature of this temple. The members of the Kodungallur Bhagavathy temple are allowed to participate in this ritual. It is to appease the goddess Kali and her demons who take delight in blood offerings.
'Kavu Theendal', another important event of the festival, overseen by the King of Kodungallur where a horde of Vellichapads (oracles) make a mad rush around the temple waving their sabres in the air while the members of their retinue throw objects (including cocks) over the inner quadrangle. They make a wild cry of abuse at the goddess in bawdy language. Their abuse is said to be accepted by the goddess followed by the purification ceremony the next day. Chandanapoti Charthal is yet another festival of smearing the image with sandal paste.
Thalappoli festival
The Thalappoli festival is in the month of Makaram (January–February). The four day Thalappoli commences from the evening of Makara Sankranthi with religious rituals. Big procession headed by richly caparisoned elephants are taken out to the accompaniment of Pancha Vadyam, Paancari, Paandi, etc.

Offerings :

From time immemorial, persons wishing to earn merit have been offering animal sacrifice.
Countless fowl and goats were sacrificed to the deity as vowed gifts for the protection and fulfillment of desires.
At the intervention of many social reformers, the government of Kerala has banned animal sacrifice in any form at this place.
At present, only red-dyed dhotis are offered to the deity. Many devotees offer rich presents and gold ornaments.

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