Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mangombu Bhagawathi temple

Mangombu Bhagawathy
Mangombu is a very prosperous island about 15 km away from Aleppy town. Most of
people in this village cultivate high rise paddy. You can go to this island only by boat.
Nowadays there is arrangement to carry the vehicles in floats. Dr.M.S. Swaminathan, the
father of modern Indian Agriculture is from this place.
There is a great Bhagawathy temple in Mongombu. There is a very interesting story
about its origin. During the reign of king Veera Marthanda Verma of Travancore , it
seems one official called Pavvathil Kaimal. He requested the king to allot him some
forest wood so that he can build his own house. The king asked Kaimal to cut trees from
Mangombu hills near Palai. Kaimal cut the required logs and when he was trying to
transport the logs by the river, three very pretty women approached Kaimal and requested
for a lift. Kaimal told them , he would allow them to travel with him provided they
became ugly. They then transformed themselves to ugly women and travelled along with
the logs. When the boat reached the present location of Mangombu , it stopped there and
refused to move. Then the pretty women told Kaimal that they were goddesses and
wanted temples to be built there. They then transformed themselves to idols. For the first
Goddess a temple was built in Koyikkal , the second in a place called Vadaiattu. When
they were thinking where to consecrate the third goddess, Goddess entered one of the
people assembled there. That man threw a branch of a mango tree and requested them to
build a temple where it falls. They did it as per the wish of the Goddess. Since it was the
place where the branch of mango fell, it was called Mankombu , meaning “Branch of a
mango tree”. Till this day the descendents of the man who threw the mango branch have
a say in the affairs of the temple. The temple was consecrated in the month of Meenam
(March april ) in the star of Bharani. The founders day is celebrated during this occasion.
The goddess faces west. A big lamp is lit all the time without stop in front of the
Goddess , as it is believed she likes light. Lighting lamps is one of the very important
worship form in this temple. In the south eastern corner of the temple of the Goddess is
the temple of Lord Shiva. So it is a practice in this temple to come round the sanctum
sanctorum four times. The idol of the Goddess is made of Jack wood and has a fierce
form of Mahishasura Mardini. But a golden face and coat is given to the goddess so that
she looks very peaceful. This idol has a crown with 15 serpents, has a symbol of elephant
in the right ear and symbol of lion in the left ear. She also wears an Yerukku Malai.
Raktha Pushpanjali for fulfilling all desires and Swayamvara Pushpanjali for early
marriage are performed at this temple. Pregnant women observe 12 day Bhajanam in this
temple for safe delivery. Several types of Payasams are also offered to the Goddess.
The first eight days of Mredam (april-may) is celebrated as Mangombu Mala ketham
(Moncombu mountain climbing) . Irumudi which is similar to the Sabarimala Irumudi is
taken and people go round the temple with chanting of “saranam”., Then the night pooja
is performed in the south east of the temple in a place called Malai Nadai Most of the
important Hindu festivals Like Navarathri , Krishna Jayanthi , Deepavali etc are observed
in this temple. In the Dhanu month (December-January a ten day Chirappu is also
observed. During this festival the Goddess would be covered with sandal paste.
In the month of Meenam , the foundation of the temple is celebrated. A kavadi pooja is
performed during this occasion


  1. My sister is married to a native of Moncombu. From him, I have heard that there is a ten day festival in April. One attraction is the Garudan Thookkam, when a devotee is raised to height by hooks pierced to his skin in his back. Please get some information on this ritual and include in your site for completeness.

  2. I would definitely do it soon. I am collecting reliable information from a friend belonging to Moncompu. Thanks for pointing this out, Ramachander

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