Chettikulangara Devi Temple or Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi Temple is located at Chettikulangara, 8 km from Kayamkulam, on the Kayamkulam–Mavelikara route, Mavelikkara, Alappuzha District, Kerala. This Devi temple is one among the five Ambalayas established by Lord Parashuram. This temple is over 1200 years old. The Chettikulangara temple is spread over 13 territories chosen by God (Karas). It is in the center of the first four Karas: Erezha South, Erezha North, Kaitha South and Kaitha North. The presiding deity is Jagadambika of Chettikulangara, the goddess of Oodanadu. The Chettikulangara Sri Bhagavathi temple is now under the control of the Travancore Devaswom Board and is the second-highest earner, next to Sabarimala.
The Main deity is Bhadrakali, an incarnation of supreme mother Shakthi Devi, born from the third eye of Shiva, to kill demon king Daruka. ‘Bhadra’ means good and ‘Kali’ means goddess of time. So Bhadrakali is worshipped for prosperity and salvation. Devi is considered the creator, protector, destructor, nature, power and Kundalini Shakthi.
The main feature of this temple is the huge oil lamp called Kathuvilakku (made of granite) which contains over a thousand wicks and is the largest in India. Ezhunnallathu deity is taken for the procession around the temple three times and is performed on the Bharani days of Vrichikam in Meenam. Devi will be taken out on ‘Kai Vattaka’ by Melshanthi (the first priest) during the Ezhunnallathu month of Vrichikam. The 41 days of Kalamezhuthu and Pattu take place every year on the first of the Malayalam month Vrichikam (December – January). On the last day, Puram Kurithi is executed. The Prasadam of this ritual is said to be able to provide immunity against smallpox and similar contagious diseases.
The Upadevathas (Sub deities) are Yakshi, Muhurthi, Rakshas, Thevara Moorthy, Kannamballi Bhagavati, Sri Ganesh, Nagaraja, Naga Yakshi, Balakan, and Vallyachan. There is another small shrine for Moolasthanam. A Kavu (a patch of a small forest, which houses the serpent Gods), Karimbana (black palm tree) and the nearby Chembakam tree in the premises are also places of worship.
Cameras are not allowed inside the temple. There are no dress codes but still, we suggest coming decently dressed as a mark of respect.
Note: Parasurama had established 108 Durga temples, 108 Siva temples, numerous Sastha temples, besides 108 Kalaris (places to learn traditional martial arts in front of the deity), Sakthi Kendras etc. Besides he had established five Ambalayas in Kerala.
Chettikulangara Devi Temple Timings:
Morning: 6:30 AM to 12:00 Noon
Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Bhagavathi Devi Temple History:
According to legend, once when some local chiefs came to attend the annual festivities at Koypallikarazhma Bhagavathi Temple, they were humiliated and ridiculed by the temple authorities. So they thought of building a temple at Chettikulangara. The Karanavars (Family Heads), the four or five main families in the region, decided to make it their duty and performed 12-day ‘Bhajans’ to please Goddess Kodungallur Bhagavati. It is believed that Devi gave them ‘Swapna Darshanam’. The next day they returned to Chettikulangara with a sacred sword donated by the Velichappadu of the Kodungallur temple and began the civil works of the temple.
Another story tells that this temple was consecrated by Padmapadacharyar (a prominent disciple of Adi Shankaracharya) on the Uthrittathi day of the month of Makara in the year 823.
Historical evidence reveals that the Shrikovil of the temple is around 480 years old and the Chuttambalam dates back around two centuries.
Chettikulangara Temple Vazhipadukal:
|5||Guruthy – (symbolic homicide)|
|13||Adima ( devoting babies to Bhagavathy)|
|16||Kuthiyottam ( Temple registration fee )|
|19||Choroonu ( Initial sacred feeding of the babies before Bhagavathy )|
Sree Bhagavathi Temple Offerings:
Devotee offerings include Kumkumarchana, Raktha Puzhpanjali, Panthirunazhi, Bhagavathi Seva, various types of Payasams, Niramala and Vilakku, Chanthattam (advance booking is necessary for this very special Abhishekam (bathing the deity) performed with a distilled black colored liquid that oozes from burnt teak wood.), Udayada, lighting the Aaluvilakku (both outside and inside), Archana, Vedi, garlands etc. Special Poojas are performed on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Bhagavathi’s ‘Ezhunnallathu’ [The deity is taken out and goes round the temple thrice on Jeevatha – Palanquin, with her entourage] is performed on Bharani days since Vrichikam to Meenam. Devi will be taken out on ‘Kai Vattaka’ by Melshanthi during the Ezhunnallathu of Vrichika Masam.
How to Reach Chettikulangara Bhagavathi Temple:
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram/Trivandrum International Airport which is 123 km.
Chengannur Railway station is 19.2 km from the temple
Aranmula is 10 km away from Chengannur. Taxis and buses are available from this place to Aranmula. One can get to the temple in approximately 30 minutes by bus.
Chettikulangara Devi Temple Address:
Kerala – 690106.
Phone: 91 479 2348670,2346600