Updated May 26, 2023
About Chottanikkara Temple
Kerala’s Chottanikkara Temple is close to Kochi. Here, the Goddess Lakshmi is revered. Bhagavathy is another name for the Goddess. The idol stands 4 to 5 feet tall. She possesses four arms and cradles the disc in the upper right arm. The upper left arm carries the conch. The lower left arm is in an Abhaya stance, which indicates courage, while the lower right hand is in a blessing position.
Mythology and History of Chottanikkara Temple
The Chottanikkara Temple is one of Kerala’s oldest temples.
- The illustrious Bhogacharya offered sacrifices to the Goddess.
- According to legend, renowned saints worshiped the Rudraksha Sila. Adi Shankaracharya, Vilwamangalam Swamiyar, Kakkasseri Bhattathiri, and Chemmangattu Bhattathiri were among these saints.
- Some records state that the transportation of the deity happened from Kollur, Karnataka’s Mookambika Temple.
- Additionally, during dawn devotion, the Goddess Mookambika Saraswati is at the temple. She remains at 7 am at the temple. It is the rationale behind the Goddesslate-night adoration at Mookambika Temple. Given that she is present in the Chottanikkara Temple while people perform puja with devotion.
- Another story, also known as swayambhu, claims that the original god of the Goddess was a self-born being.
- The original idol is shaped differently and is composed of laterite. It is colored crimson.
Chottanikkara Temple’s Importance
The temple is significant in Kerala’s religious history for the reasons listed below:
- Here, Goddess Bhagavathy acts as a slayer of evil. She safeguards her followers from harm.
- Folklore has it that this is where pilgrims may escape the pressures of everyday life.
- The temple’s three manifestations of the Goddess Rajarajeswari are she gets worshiped as Saraswati in the morning. She assumes the guises of Goddess Lakshmi in the afternoon and Goddess Durga in the evening.
- In the morning, she will be in a white dress. She wears ruby red clothing in the day and a vivid blue garment in the evening.
- On the same pedestal is a statue of Lord Vishnu. Because of this, the Goddess is also referred to as Ammenarayana, Lakshminarayana, Devinarayana, and Bhadrenarayana.
- Additional images of Ganapati, Subramanya, Narayana, Brahma, Siva, Lakshmi, and Sastha are on the pedestal.
- The temple also houses several idols representing mythical figures.
Celebrations at the Chottanikkara Temple
#1 Makom Thozhal Festival
This festival is on the Makom day of the Kumbham month. The months of February or March are Kumbham in Malayalam. Goddess Bhagavathy came in front of Vilwamangalam Swamiyar on Makom Day. Another legend holds that on Makom Day, the Goddess appears in front of her followers every year. Consequently, this day is entirely for the celebration. At this time, devotees sing the Bhajan. Legend has it that Bhadrakali at Kizhukkavu releases the believers from the evil spirit after Bhajanam.
#2 Navaratri Mahotsavam
Every year, the event takes place in September and October. It lasts for ten days. The temple hosts several cultural events throughout the festival. During this time, priests conduct the rituals of Vidyarambham and Annadhanam. Ceremonies and Poojas at the Chottnikara Temple, Conch blowing signals the beginning of worship in the temple, and instrumental music. Beginning the day is Nirmalya Darshan. Only then can people see the goddess’ swayambhu image.
#3 Dhaara of Lord Shiva
- There are several forms of worship throughout the day. The other afternoon worships are Ethruthu Pooja, Seeveli, Guruthi Nivedyam, Pantheeradi, Ucha, and Uchaseeveli.
- In the evening, nada people worship Goddess Rajarajeswari, by Deeparadhana, Athazha, and Seeveli.
- Bhajanam is a unique ceremony that happens at the devotees’ desire. Only devotees who reside at the temple can request Bhajanam.
- This time, they remain inside the temple. At this time, worshipers prohibit eating anything spicy, sour, or salty. Some records say the Bhajan can even cure diseases.
- After worship, devotees give the goddess finery, paddy, rice, and satin clothing. Devotees play the Brahmini Amma Paatu devotional songs.
- Rituals such as Chuttuvilakku and Nirmala are for prosperity. The devotee in this rite must worship the Trikala three times each day. Another way requires the devotee to honor Goddess Rajarajeswari continuously throughout the day.
- Worship of Naga snakes in the Noorum Palum ceremony.
- The Palpayasam ceremony honors Lord Vishnu.
- The Mrithyunjaya Homam rite bestows Lord Shiva’s blessings. In addition, this routine promotes longevity. It aids in illness treatment.
- Another way to worship the Goddess Rajarajeswari is with chathussadam.
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