Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chithur Amma Thiruvadi

Temple of Chithur Amma Thiruvadi



Chithur is small town 13 km away from Palakkad town, This town was in Malabar for some time but at the time of state reorganization it was under the Cochin state. By the side of this town there is a rivulet called Chithur Puzha. The town has considerable population of Tamil speaking people. It also houses the Samadhi Of Thunchathu Ezhuthachan, who can be considered as the father of the modern Malayalam language. Children are taught their first alphabets on the Vijaya Dasami day in front of this Samadhi.
The Chithur Bhagathy temple has two temples inside it, one called Pazhayannur temple and the other called Chithur Amma Thiruvadi temple. Both these temples are that of Bhadra Kali. She is supposed to be the daughter of Lord Shiva. It seems in olden times there was an asura called Dharuka (called Kongan) , who due to the several boons he got was troubling every one. One of these boons was that no male member can kill him. He also had a great weapon called Brahma Dandu given to him by Brahma. Further , every drop of blood falling from his body could become 1000 Darukas like him. The Shakthi portion which emanated from Brahma (Brahmi) , Vishnu(Vaishnavi) , Shiva(Parvathi) , Skanda (kaumari) , Indra (Indarani) and Yama waged a war against him and failed to kill him. At that time Bhadra Kali came out of the third eye Of Lord Shiva along with fire. She was anger personified.. She went to the north of Kailasa mountain and rode on the top of a gruesome Vetala and fought with Daruka. But even she was not able to fight with the Brahma Dandu. She then took the form of a poor Brahmin lady , went and begged with the wife of Daruka and learnt the manthras to defeat the Brahma Dandu. Then she along with the Shakthi from all other Gods fought with Daruka. They drank each drop of blood that fell from him. When he was not able to oppose them Daruka tried to run away to Patala but Bhadra Kali caught and killed him. It seems she returned back to Kailasa with the head of Daruka on her spear. Shiva realizing that she was very ferocious and angry , made Lord Ganapathi and Nandi in to small babies and put them on her way. Seeing them her anger vanished.
The Pazhayannur Kavu(temple) also called the moola Kshethram houses the Swayambu idol of the Goddess. Worship in this temple in the olden days was carried out by Nayars. Later Brahmins took over the worship of this temple. The Chithur Amma Thiruvadi temple also called as Chithur Kavu , has a very black idol of Bhadra Kali in her very ferocious form, with eight hands holding sword, spear mace, the head of Kongan dripping with blood , conch , two hands showing blessing and support. And sitting with crossed legs .It is believed that this idol is made of a peculiar type of locally available mud. Due to the daily Chandattam(Pouring of a thick red liquid, we would not be in a position to clearly see the form of the original idol. Several lamps are kept burning inside and outside the temple. A sense of fear comes in to all devotees seeing her. This temple is open for worship only on Tuesdays and Fridays. But during Mandalam and on festival days , two times daily worship takes place in this temple. The worship in this temple is done by Nayars. Along with the baser form of worship involving offering meat and toddy to the Goddess , Udayasthamana Pooja , Trikala Pooja and Madhura Chatti( Sweet pot-Payasam with jaggery) are also offered in this temple. Chandattam (Abhisheka with specially formulated red liquid) is the main offering in this temple. The liquid which falls on the ground is collected in the pots and given as Prasada.

The main festival in this temple is the Kongan pada. The parts of Coimbatore were ruled by the kongu kings and people of that area are referred to as Kongan to this day. It seems they under the leadership of Rajadhirajan(Kongan) attacked Chithur so that they can merge Chithur in their kingdom. When the people appealed to the Goddess she ordered them to fight. Slowly the people were losing the battle. At that time The Goddess from Amma Thiruvadi temple came out and fought with the Kongan pada( Army of Kongu people) and decimated all of them. Chudalai Madan or Kongan (The folk God guarding burial grounds) fought with her riding on a buffalo. Seeing Bhadra Kali he said that he never fought with ladies but challenged her for a competition to jump over a banyan tree there with her feet not touching it. Bhadra Kali jumped but willfully made her toe dash against the tree and bleed.KOngan then jumed much above the banyan tree.. Bhadra Kali caught him before he touched the ground and beheaded him as he had a boon that he can never be killed on earth. While returning back the Goddess Bhadra Kali washed her blood drenched sword in a river (The river is called Valayar-river of the sword) . She then took rest sitting on a big stone. Two Dalit men(chakkaliyar) offered her toddy and meat . She then vanished in the present place of Pazhayannur temple.. A temple was consecrated there. It seems at the time of consecration , one lady sage came there and carried out the consecration there and later this sage disappeared. People believe that it was the Goddess herself who came in the form of a saint. This story of Kongan Pada is enacted every year in a festival called “Kongan Pada” which lasts for 24 days. This starts on the Monday after the new moon in the month of Kumbam(February-march). It starts with a ritual called “chilambum malayum”, in which people of that area go to the Moola Sthanam . along with the letter of war and pray Goddess to protect them.

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