Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, One of the Top Hindu Temples in Kerala

Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple is one of the most important Hindu temples in Kerala,
located at a distance of about 17 km from Ernakulam. The temple is situated in Chottanikkara village and is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwaty as the name of the temple suggests. 


It is believed that the main deity of this temple was brought from Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka. Thus the temple deity is worshipped in three forms of Devi- as Saraswati in the morning, as Lakshmi at noon and as Durga in the evening. The deity is also called by various other names by its devotees like Devi Narayana, Amme Narayana, Bhadre Narayana and also as Lakshimi Narayana due to a Vishnu or Naryana idol that has been placed on the same platform as of Goddess Rajarajeswari.

The Temple
The temple is beautifully placed in a hilly region and is surrounded by lush green vegetations from all sides. You can enter this temple from the west side and as you enter the temple, you will immediately feel the divine power that resides at this place. People who enter this temple will gain mental and spiritual harmony.

The 'Devi' or the main deity of this temple is believed to possess healing powers, especially for the ones having mental illness or other kinds of disorders.

The idol of Bhagwaty inside the temple is 4 to 5 ft tall and is beautifully decorated with flowers, garlands and jewels. As you enter the inner sanctum of the temple, you notice that the idol comprises of four arms, where the upper right arm holds a disc, the upper left arm bears a conch, the lower right hand is held in a pose of offering blessings and the lower left hand holds a fearless pose.

The Kizhukkavu temple located on the eastern side of this temple is known for holding a popular festival called Guruthi pooja. 

Festivals
There are many festivals celebrated in this temple

Makom Thozhal- It is the most important festival of this temple which is celebrated in the month of Kumbham or February and March.  This festival is celebrated as it is believed that Goddess Bhagwaty, in her full attire gave darsan to Vilwamangalam Swamiyar on the Makom day and is also believed that she still appears on the same day every year to give darsan to her devotees.

Chingam- Thiruvonam is celebrated in this temple during which Thiruvonam feast is offered to all the devotees.

Kanni- Navarathri aghosham is another chief festival of this temple that attracts huge number of devotees to this place.

Vrishchikam- The festival is celebrated during the entire period of mandalam season. During this period, annadanam, stage programs, Naama japam and other rituals are conducted daily.
Kumbam- It is another annual festival of the temple, which initiates with flag hoisting ceremony on Rohini day, lasts for 7 days and finally concludes on Uthram star.

Medam- This festival is celebrated on the Vishu day, during which Vishukani, Vishusadya and ezhunellippu on 3 elephants are conducted.

Karkitakam- This festival is celebrated during the Ramayana masam or Ramayana Month. During this period, puranam reading, annadanam, devotional speeches, discourse and many other ritual are performed on a daily basis.

Navarathri aghosham- It is yet another renowned festival of this temple which is witnessed by large number of devotees.  During this festival children ranging from 3 to 6 years old are presented before Devi Saraswathy and initiate their reading, writing and arithmetic.  Elephant procession is also taken out during this festival.

How to Reach
By Road: The nearest major places to this temple through road are Ernakulam (17km), Kochi (25 km) and Coimbatore (196 km).

By Air: The nearest airport to this temple is Kochi International Airport, located at a distance of about 38 km.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to this temple is Ernakulam central railway station, located at a distance of about 20 km. 

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