14 August 2009
Shakthi Sthalams - The Bhagawati Temple at Kodungallur- Kerala
The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur in Kerala is an ancient one, enshrining Kali - also believed to be a manifestation of Kannagi of the celebrated Tamil epic Silappadikaram. Here is a collection of Shiva temples in Tamilnadu where the Amman (Ambaal or Devi) shrine is of significance.
The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur is of great renown throughout the state of Kerala. Kodungallur situated on the west coast, was once a great port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu, It was known by the Greek as as the musris.
Tiruvanchikkulam, now a suburb of Kodungallur was a center of great historic significance during the chera period. Cheran Senguttuvan is said to have built the temple to Kannagi - a manifestation of Kaali or Kotravai or Durga, here (Silappadikaaram).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 infront 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 jeweelry.
Legends: This image is believed to be a personification of Kali, who had killed the demon Daaruka. Daaruka is said to have worshipped Bhrama, and harassed the devas. The goddesses created Bhramani, Vaishnavi, Maheswari, Kaumari, Varahi and Indrani from Bhrama, , and they were defeated by Daaruka, however Shiva created Kaali and she killed Daaruka.
The Temple: The image of Kali faces east. There is a crimson cloth hung on the western wall of the sanctum and worship is offered here. There is also a secret chamber east of the Kali image, with an underground passage. Also is a shrine to Kshetrapala, the guardian deity and Vasurimala associated with small pox.
With this post, my Chapters on Shakthi Sthalams/Temples comes to a close. My next Chapters will be on the Surya Sthalams/ Temples.