Pachalloor Bhadra Kali temple, Trivandrum
This is a famous BHadrakali temple situated 7 km from Trivandrum on the Trivandrum-0Kovalam route. It is also referred to as Pachalloor CHudukadu (cremation ground) Bhadrakali. It is supposed to be a very ancient temple and is included in the list of 64 Shaiva holy places in Vizhinjam. But there is an interesting story about it. There was a learned Acharya , who was the head of the famous Valiya Vila family which was located in this area. One day when he was returning home he saw two old and tired ladies sitting in the shade of the banyan tree .When the gentleman enquired with them, they tld him that they are from Kodungallore .Seeing that they are very worn out he offered them Tender coconut, Puffed rice and banana fruit. When he reached his home he saw one of those old ladies sitting in the pooja room of his house. But next day morning she had disappeared but in the place where she was sitting , there was a glowing lamp filled with ghee . The Goddess from then on used to give Darsan to the head of that family once in a while from then on. And that house was later made in to the temple of Pachalloor . There is also a story that after Bhadra Kali killed Dharikan , she was greatly angry and no one could pacify her .Lord Shiva who was her creator pacified her and made her to stay in Pachalloor so that she could take care of her devotees. There is also a belief that the old lady from Kodungallore who became goddess there is Kannagi herself .During festivals the story of Kannagi is sung at this temple.
In the temple the Goddess has a peaceful form and faces north., There are temples of Ganesa, Sastha nd Nagar(serpents) in the temple compound. There is also a temple for Kanda karnan below the banyan tree in the temple. He is believed to be the brother of the Goddess There is daily worship in the evening.Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays are more important. Tender coconuts , Puffed rice and fruits are generally offered to the Goddess. Kadum Payasam (Very sweet jiggery kheer) is another important offering. The temple opens at 12 noon, closes at 2 P.M and again opens at 5,30 Pm and is open upto 8.30 PM There is Deeparadhana at 1.30 PM, &.30 PM and 8 Pm. On every first day of the Malayalam month the temple is open from 5.30 Am in the morning .
One of the important forms of worship of the Goddess is Nercha thookkam.This consists of Devi Dasans hanging on a bow carrying a child and doing a round of the temple. There are no restrictions of caste , religion or creed for this form of worship.The web site of the temple says,
“There are many unique features about the customs and pooja rites followed in this temple for years. The poojari (priest) is from the ‘Kolla’ community. The heavy rope for the ‘Nercha Thookka Villu’ comes from a family from the Ezhava community and the ‘Katcha’ comes from the ‘Mannar’ community. Carpenters from the ‘Aasari’community make the ‘Thookka villu’. The ‘Chanam’ is brought by a family from the ‘Araya’ community. The ‘Parikarmi’ are people from the ‘Thattaar’ community before whom ‘Panam’ (cash) is offered on the ‘Pallippalaka’ on the first day of festival. The drums (Chenda) accompanying Devi are played by people from ‘Paanar’ community and people mainly from the ‘Thandaar’ community are the Devidaasas.
When the human race distances itself by building boundaries in the name of caste and religion, people become members of one family in front of the ‘Boon-giver’Pachallooramma. They are devotees, children of Pachallooramma.”
This ritual is on the seventh day of the festival of the temple which starts on the Makeeram day of the month of Kumbha. The people who offer themselves to the ritual starts penance from the first day of festival itself. The devotee is hung by the bow , while he would be carrying a child and villu would take one round of the temple .Several children would be waiting for their turn and would continue till the next day morning as people believe that once their baby undergoes nercha thookkal, their future is secure On the eight day the ladies around the temple offer Pongala to the Goddess The festival comes to an end with Kuruthi Tharppanam on the ninth day when Thatta nevedhyam is offered to the Goddess. There is a you tube video on the temple festival –
You can see large number of photos of the temple in https://www.facebook.com/pachallooramma/photos
The temple can be contacted in e mail id firstname.lastname@example.org . The administration of the temple is looked after by Nair Service Society , Pachalloor, Trivandrum -27.