|Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Devi Temple Thrissur Kerala. ePuja|
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The legend/sthalapurana has it that a Karnavar, an elder member of an aristocratic Nair family of Kuruppal Tharavad, who was an ardent devotee of Thirumandham kunnu Bhagavathy, used to visit this place regularly. On account of his old age, he made his last visit to the temple with a heavy heart and expressed his inability to visit the temple anymore to the goddess. After his intense prayers, he was on his way back home and took rest under an Ilanhi tree (a small fruit tree) near Vadakkunatha temple. To resume his return journey, he tried to take his palmyrah umbrella that he kept on the ground. He made a vain attempt to take the umbrella which was firmly fixed to the ground. A Devaprasnam ( an astrological ritual carried out by the Namboodiris to interpret the will of the gods) suggested the presence of divinity, presumably Goddess Bhagavathy in the umbrella. The Nair family member - Karanavar decided to worship the Goddess there itself. It is believed that after the consecration of Vadakkunatha temple, the divine power - Chaithanya of the Goddess was transformed to the present location below a Paro tree. After consecration, the deity came to be known as Parokkavu Bhagavathy . Later the temple was known by the name of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy. The tradition has been that as the primary seat of the goddess was under the Illanhi tree at the Vadakkunatha temple, the very first lighting of the temple lamp is shown in the direction of Illanhi tree every day. The famous Illanhi Thara Melam is an integral part of the Thrissur Pooram, a way of paying obeisance to the divine presence of goddess Bhagavathy.
The temple complex is made of two shrines: Paramekkavu and Melekkavu. In the past before the 1960s, there existed the practice of animal/bird sacrifices called Guruthi ritual (in Tamil and Malayalam Kuruthi means blood) in this shrine by the people of Kizhakkumpattukara village. Goddess Bhagavathy (Durga) is the principal deity of both the shrines.
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