Name of the Temple

Kadampuzha Sree Bhagwati temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Ambal: Sreeparvathi

Sthala Theertham: Kadampuzha

Sthala Virksham: Thechi

Sthalapuranam:

The Temple for Sreeparvathi at Kadampuzha, dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga, is one of the most prominent Devi temples in Kerala. The term ‘puzha’ which in Malayalam denotes river is a misnomer here since the otherwise sylvan surroundings and verdant greenery around the location has no river skirting it. The idol in the Sanctum Sanctorum is abstract in shape but it is ‘Swayambhoo’ or natural manifestation. The temple is very simple in architecture without any imposing edifices or a gold-plated flag mast. There are no festival processions or drum concerts. But the multitude of birds nestling on the verge of the green belt provide a natural ambience with their non-stop chirping and it is fully in tune with Kerala’s temple culture; Kavu as it was known in ancient times.

Legend about the origin of the temple is associated with the popular episode in the Mahabharatha where Arjuna does penance to appease Lord Siva to obtain the divine weapon Passupathastra. Lord Siva approaches Arjuna as a hunter (Kiratha) with His divine consort Sreeparvathi escorting Him as huntress (Kirathi). Arjuna is challenged by the Lord in disguise to test the skills of the boon-seeker. In the fierce battle between Lord Siva (Kiratha) and Arjuna, the arrows that Arjuna showered on Lord Siva miraculously turned into Thechi flowers. Arjuna then recognises the Lord and prostrates before Him. Having found Arjuna worthy of the deadly weapon, the Lord obliges His devotee very soon, and here He is goaded by Sreeparvathi who hastened the process. Hastening is twaritha in Malayalam and Goddess at Kadampuzha is worshipped as Twaritha or one who is quick in granting blessings and favors. The shower of arrows-turned into flowers is symbolised here by a unique offering to the Goddess, Poomoodal, and the Swayambhoo Sthanam being covered completely by flowers. Petals of Thechi flowers are mandatory since they resemble arrowheads. The quantity required is 12 Kutanna, one Kutanna being the capacity when two cupped palms are held together.

During the divine couple’s wandering in this forest, Sreeparvathi once felt thirsty and the Lord brought forth holy water from river Ganga through a well directed arrow ino the earth. This event is immortalised as KaatanAmbu-eitha-ala where kaatan is hunter, ambu is arrow, eitha is shot and ala is whole. This became Katanambueithaala which was later colloquialised as Kadampuzha. Devotees thus worship the hole through which river Ganga sprouted and this is the idol sankalpa. Shankaracharya during one of his frequent pilgrimages while traversing this forest area was attracted by an all pervading ‘aura’ emanating from the dense undergrowth. Finding it difficult to approach the spot due to the heat generated by the radiation, he meditated upon Lord Vishnu as Narasimha and the Lord appeared. With the help of Sudarshanachakra of Lord Vishnu the great saint moved closer only to found the radiance shrinking and finally vanishing into a hole on the earth’s surface. Through deep meditation using the ‘Divyachakshussu’, the Aacharya discerned the nature of the phenomenon nothing other than the divine presence of Seeparvathi in the forest. The place was consecrated as a temple and in commemoration of ‘showers of flowers’, Poomoodal gained prominence due to the inherent quality and power of flower petals to contain heat. Lord Narasimha and Sudarshanachakra are honored through depictions in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. There are enclosures for Sree Dharma Sastha and Nagakanyaka as upadevaas or subsidiary deities. Modalities of worship are as prescribed by Shankaracharya.

Goddess here is worshipped in three forms viz., Vidya Durga (Saraswathi), Vanadurga (Durga) and Aadi Durga (MooladurgaLakshmi). As Durga, She blesses the devotees with health, early marriage and domestic harmony. Saraswathi is invoked for education and career. Lakshrni is of course Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Another unique offering here is Muttarukkal where coconuts brought by devotees are broken by the Poojari in front of Devi’s idol in the presence of the devotees themselves and this is to ward off hostile influences plaguing them. One coconut for every obstacle is the system followed. The popularity of this ritual can be gauged from the figure of more than thirty lakhs of coconuts that are brought to the temple every year by the stream of devotees. The other important sevas are Katinapayasam, Rekthapushpanjali, Choroon (Anaprasam), Dehapushpanjali, Thrimadhuram, Thrikalapooja, Kettunira,Vilakkumala,Malapooja, Neyvilakku, Ganapathi Homam, Niramala etc..

Route:

This temple is just about two kilometres east of Vettichira between Valanchery and Kottakkal on N .H.17. Those who prefer train journey can alight at Kuttipuram or Tirur Railway Station from where there are buses to the temple (Distance 19 kms).

Temple Timings:

4.00 Am to 12.00 Am and 3.00 Pm to 7.00 Pm.

Temple Telephone Number:

04942615790, 2618000.

Temple Address:

Kadampuzha Sree Bagavathy Temple,

Kadampuzha P.o,

Malappuram – 676553