Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Palakkavu Bhagavathi temple, Edava, a popular place of worship in Kerala

Palakkavu Bhagavathi temple,  Edava Rgyan
Edava Palakkavu Bhagavathi temple  en.wikipedia.org
 The Edava Palakkavu Bhagavathi temple, situated at Edava in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala is one of the ancient temples in south India. Dedicated to Bhadrakali Devi ( a popular form Devi Mahamaya commonly worshiped in S. India), an avatar of Palakkavilamma, there are sub deities / sub devtas  and upadevtas in the adjacent shrines which  are all rebuilt as per  the Deva Prashnam (a religious process of invoking the deity on the spot, preparing Tantric square for His seating) by expert astrologers
recently. Some of the upadevathas on the premises are  Lord Ganesh, Goddess Annapurna, Yogewaran, Adithya (Sun God), Anjaneya (Sri rama's ardent devotee /Dasa) and  Nagarukavu (serpent, here king Cobra). In addition, there  are  Navagraha (nine planets) and  Brahma Rakshasas the demon of a Brahmin who did some evil in the past), the latter is a rare feature in temples of Tamil Nadu. Details ar not available as to the origin of the temple.   
The main festival of this temple the Karthika Thirunal Mahothsavam, is held in Karthika Naskathra in the Malayalam month of Kumbham. This 10 day festival  ends with Ghosayathra / Ezhunnallathu (procession).  This colorful festival begins with  many cultural and traditional programs that continue on  subsequent days. The main attractions of this festival are Thrikodiyettu (hoisting of temple flag), Ahaspooja, Sree Bhoothabali (a ritual performed before the Utchavar and other sub deities when taken around the prakara), Uthsava Bali (it is a ritual done by the temple priests after morning puja), Kalamzhuthum pattum ( a unique drawing of ritual art of Kerala), Thottam pattu (it is invocative, the  belief is the performer will be possessed by divine spirits. It is a local ballad sung before the ritual), Ponkkala, Pallivetta, Ghosayathra (procession) and finally  Aarattu (holy immersion in the sea or river of the utchavar idol). Karthika is the star of the deity.

A  particular festival held during the month of "Kumbham"  is colorful and is marked by the participation of people of different castes  and religions from the community.  Many streets in the village are well decorated with coconut leaves plantain leaf-stalks, etc.  

Annually in the month of May / June  Bhagavatha Sapthaha yajnam is conducted for seven days. This a religious discourse  on Bhagavatham followed by some  cultural programs. Kuchela Jayanthi and Rukmini Swayamvaram are elaborated as part  of Sapthaham. Such discourses focus on the positive approach to life and the importance of leading a life of righteousness. Lots of people, especially senior citizens attend such religious programs that are held with utter devotion and religious fervor. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palakkavu_Bhagavathi_temple