Sunday, 17 May 2020

Legendary and popular Thirumandham Kunnu Bhagavathy temple Angadippuram, Kerala .

There is no dearth of Kali temples in the state of Kerala. Bhadrakali Amman temples are quite popular here and lots of devotees go there for peace of mind  and to get freed from certain problems being faced by the families. As I mentioned in many posts, faith is the main driving force here and visiting a temple (or a Church) gives them a sort of psychological boost to their dejected mind.  Alappuzha. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Trivandrum. Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple, Thrissur. Chottanikkara Temple, Ernakulam. Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy Temple, Palakkad. Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple, Thrissur. Sarkaradevi Temple are some of the famous Goddess temples. Equally famous is the Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavthy temple  Angadippuram.

 Located  atop a hillock  in Malappuram district,  Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy temple  is a popular place of worship  and one of the ancient temples dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali in Kerala.
Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavthy temple,Kerala  nativeplanet.com
Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy temple,Kerala  tripadvisor.in
The legend has it the then ruler of this region King Mandhatha of Surya dynasty ruled the country for long period. Having chosen a successor to the throne, he had decided to live like mendicant and  and spend his time meditating on God Shiva  in the Himalayas. After sometime, pleased with his dedication and bhakti,  god Shiva himself gave him a Shivalinga as requested by him for worship till his death.  That Shivalinga was worshiped by god's consort Parvati.  Pleased as he was,  Mandhatha returned  from Kailas to  the hill now known as Thirumandhamkunnu, a nice place endowed with serene ambiance, placid river with clean water and beautiful greenery around it. Because of fatigue, the ex king placed  the idol on the ground there. Later, he could not lift the idol. The idol remaine there for ever. 
 Lord Siva  gave the linga to the king when his consort Parvati was away for her bath. Upon her return, when  the goddess found the idol  that she was worshiping was missing, she  realized  that it had been gifted to the ex ruler from Kerala. She wanted the Linga back and God Shiva's consolation was of no help.

Parvati dispatched a host of Boothaganas along with Kali to get the idol back from   Thirumandha hill. They just made a futile attempt there. The linga installed there was so bright and dazzling they could not get near it. Later there  ensued a battle between the Boothaganas and the holy people who were with   Mandnatha.  The later defended the idol well because of his bhakti and Shiva's power.  
 Kali and her Bhoothas could not resist them the fight lasted for 15 days. Undaunted Mahamaya took her viswaroopa and both the ascetics and Mandhatha were helpless. The latter hugged the Shivalinga that split into two. In the Jyothi/Agni there emerged  Thiru Moorthies  Brahma, Vishnu and Siva (the Trinity gods).

Location map of Angadippuram  indianetzone.com/
Soon Goddess appeared and told the ex ruler, ''I do not want to take back the Linga against the wish of the lord. I can't accept the pangs of separation from God Shiva, so  I will merge into the  linga and remain here forever.  As for my  daughter Kali, let her be with me   facing north and have all poojas and festival performed as she came here first''. Having said this,  Parvathy entered  into the idol and became one. 
The temple has idols of  Bhagavathy with Sapthamathrukkal, Veerabhadran and Ganapaty - all facing north  as wished by Goddess Parvati. This is called "Mathrusala and festivals Pooram, Pattu, etc are linked to them. In the Malayalam month of Thulam - first day in the forenoon Pantheerady pooja is conducted - a nostalgic event linked to the legendary fight between Mandhatha and Kali.The age old custom '' Attayaga Yeru'' continues even to day. 
In the Srikovil (sanctum/moolasthanam) one can see  Shivalinga (facing east), goddess Parvati facing west and Ganapathy (also facing west). To worship the lord and his consort,  there are two openings - east and west respectively. 
Mandhatha  after spending his time on meditation here, before his death handed over the responsibility of managing the temple to two Brahmins. He gave them  a grandha  containing instructions about pujas, rituals, etc.   Later  he went into a jungle  called Kukshipparakkad  to leave his mortal remains  though yoga. 

The great king is still remembered.  The annual pooja on Chithra in Midhunam on Mandhatha is an important one that attracts a large gathering of people.  The two Brahmins later took over the temple and the surroundings places. The Thanthri of Thirumandhamkunnu temple is still a descendant from either of these families. The nair karyasthan who was with them was given the title "chathathumarar" and made the blower of holy conch in the temple.

Chirankara pooram (temple festival) is the main festival of Kodikkunnu Bhagavathy Temple.  The other important festival is the Kathiratta Vela (Festival of Harvest) -  celebrated after the every years harvest.

Tit-Bits:
Bhadrakali, en.wikipedia.org.
Bhadrakali:  She is a popular goddess in Southern India., She may be fierce-looking, but in reality, she is compassionate and kind to her devotees. A form of  Great Goddess Shakti or Adi Parashakti (also called Durga, Devi, Mahadevi, or Mahamaya), she will never spare the evil-minded people.  In Kerala she is seen as an auspicious and fortunate form of Mahakali who protects the good.
Bhadrakali is primarily worshiped in 4 forms: Darukajit (as the killer of the demon Darika), Dakshajit (as the killer of Daksha), Rurujit (as the slayer of the demon Ruru) and as Mahishajit (as She who killed Mahishasura) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhadrakali)

https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g1156216-d6586081-r203003522-Thirumandhamkunnu_Bhagavathy_Te
https://www.nativeplanet.com/travel-guide/thirumandhamkunnu-bhagavathy-temple-marriage-problems-002312.html
http://www.thirumandhamkunnutemple.com/thirumandhamkunnu_history.php