Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mullakkal Bhagawathi temple

Mullakkal Bhagawathy Temple, Aleppy
Mullakkal Bhagawathy temple is situated in the town of Aleppy, called Alappuzha in
Malayalam. By road it is about 60 km from Ernakulam. (This town is called the Venice
of the east, because like Venice, all parts of this town are connected by canals.) This
temple which is about 500 years old has a tumultuous history.
There are two different stories regarding the origin of this temple. One story says that
this idol was brought by the banished soldiers of The Thekkum kur king. They are
supposed to have brought this idol and kept it in a jasmine Garden. The idol got
permanently fixed here and a temple was constructed by the king Devanarayana of
Chembagasery. . The other story says that once that great king went to Kodungallore for
prayer and wanted to have the temple of Kodungallore Bhagawathy in his town. That day
the goddess came in his dream and told him that she will follow him. When he reached
Aleppy, the king kept his Umbrella in the jasmine garden before taking rest. The
umbrella got fixed there. Later the astrologers found that the Goddess wanted to stay
there. The king built a temple for her. Another story tells that, some Namboodiri
Brahmins came from Malabar along with the Annapurneswari idol they were
worshipping, during the invasion of Kerala by Tippu Sultan and they consecrated the idol
at this spot.
The idol prior to m1961 in this temple was indeed that of Annapurneswari with ladle in
one hand and a pot in the other hand. Since the temple was built in a jasmine garden, she
was called Mullakkal Bhagawthy. She was consecrated in the standing pose facing the
In 1961 when they were consecrating the golden flag staff for the Goddess, one mad
man went inside the sanctum sanctorum and embraced the idol. Later it was found that
cracks have developed in the idol. Again Deva prasnam (getting opinion of Goddess
through astrology) was done and she wanted a new idol to be consecrated there. So on
16th July 1962 in the same place a Rajarajeswari of four feet height was consecrated in
the temple. Apart from the main Goddess there are also small temples for Hanuman,
Subramanya and serpents in the temple. An idol of Lord Krishna and Lord Ayyappa has
also been consecrated.
Payasam , Vadai , Appam are normally offered to the Goddess as Naivedyam.. It
seems on the first day when the Annapurneswari idol was consecrated , they were forced
to make Vada using full Black gram with black skin from the near by Brahmin’s family..
So even today at the night pooja, this type of Vada is offered to the Goddess.
From first of Vruschiga month (October-November) a festival is celebrated for forty
one days. The last eleven days is called as Chirappu festival and is a famous festival in
these parts and is referred as Alappuzha Chirappu.
The first Sunday of December is celebrated in this temple as a ladies festival. On that
Day all functions of the temple are carried out by ladies only. Thousands of lamps are lit
on that day evening by ladies coming from far and near.
Navarathri (Dussera) is also celebrated in the temple. On Maha navami day 150 girl
children are given new cloths and are worshipped as Kumaris .Theyattu is celebrated that
day night. In this function a huge drawing of the Goddess is made in the floor and this is
slowly removed by dancing over it.
The temple timings are % Am to 10.30 Am and between 5 to 8 PM.

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