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, vishnu, Mahadeva,
Kumara, Yama and Indra, 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.
Chotanikkara Bhagawati Temple