Monday, April 7, 2014

Chirayinkeezh Sarkara Devi temple

Chirayinkeezh Sarkara   Devi temple
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       This very famous  temple of Goddess  BHadrakali is located   near    Chiyankeezh railway station and is near both Athingal and Varkala  and is 34 km from Trivandrum. Sarkara   is the name for Jaggery   in Malayalam. It seems once upon a time   some merchants from Ambalapuzha  who were selling Jaggery reached this place   at night fall.  They kept all their pots of jiggery in a place and slept. Next day when the wanted to go, they were not able to move one pot of Jaggery. They left it there and went away. Next day an old woman of the place    , located it and splitting open the pot saw the form of Goddess Bhadrakali in it.   The villagers then constructed  a temple around the idol  there. They also consecrated Ganapathi and Nagaraja idols in    subtemples within this temple.
      There is another story aboput   the origin of the temple. It seems the Vilwamangalath Samiyar who     was responsible in finding Lord Padmanabha in Ananthankad in Trivandrum , it seems saw Lord Vishnu siting on a branch of a tree and Goddess Kali in the form of a girl was playing   in the tree shade  . On seeing the SAmiyar the girl ran away    and joined the Pulaya settlement nearby in a place called  Chakkiamma ground. On the ground it seems some Jaggery merchants had camped     and kept their jars of jiggery there.   The goddess entered one of those jars and hid there. When the merchants  were not able to lift one jar, sage Vilwamangalam recognized    that  jar  had  Bhadrakali in it. He persuaded the goddess to stay there and built a temple for there.
 In this temple there is a very peculiar worship ritual called  Kaliyootu.   It was it seems started by    The king  Marthanda verma who was   going on a mission to conquer the nearby Kaymkulam kingdom.  Though the king had several times tried  to conquer this kingdom, he   was not able to do so. Once on his journey  of conquest he struck  camp  near the Sarkara devi temple.    The priests of this temple who had come and settled there from Malabar   suggested to the king to perform a Kaliyoootu to Bhagwathi. The king agreed    and he was able to annex the Kayamkulam kingdom that time. From that time    the Kaliyootu festival was being celebrated annually in this temple. Kaliyootu festival is celebrated in the month of February-march for 9 days at the temple. The first seven days there are dramas , dances and narration of the story of Kali and Dharika ,. On 8th day  the Bhadrakali from the temple goes in search of Daruka. But returns back at the end of the day without finding that dreaded Asura.  On the ninth day a ceremony called Nilathil Poru(War on earth) takes place and Kali exterminates Dharika.  The memembers of Kannara families  put on the costumes of Dharika and Kali and the war is enacted. There is one more important festival at this temple celebrated    in the month of Meenam called Menathu Bharani. This is celebrated on the birth day of the Goddess. The  festival starts with flag hoisting and ends with Arattu( Anointing  of the goddess   in the nearby river.)
      The Goddess  is so popular that people call her “Sarkara Ponnamachi “ ( The golden Sarkara  mother.) Recently they have  also started a pongala festival  in this temple. It would be held on the first day of Kumbam month.

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