Chottanikkara Temple

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The Chottanikkara (correction of Jyotiannakkara) Devi Temple  is a famous temple of mother goddess Shakthi devi or Rajarajeshwari known as Sree Bhagavathi. Maha lakshmi is supposed to be residing in Chottanikkara along with Lord Vishnu. The temple is located at Chottanikkara, Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala and is one of the most popular temples in the state and in terms of temple architecture, this temple stands out to be an ultimate testmonial for the ancient vishwakarma sthapathis (wooden sculpture) in sculpting this temple along with Sabarimala temple. Sree Mahamaya Bhagawati (Aadiparashakthi), the goddess of power, is one of the most popular deities in Kerala and the supreme mother goddess in Hinduism. Chottanikkara Devi is worshipped at the temple, in three different forms: as Maha Saraswati (mother of knowledge) in the morning, draped in white; Maha Lakshmi (mother of wealth) at noon, draped in crimson; and as Sree Durga (mother of power) in the evening, decked in blue. Supreme lord Shiva, Ganesh & Lord Dharmasastha (Ayyappa) is also worshiped at the temple. People suffering from mental illnesses & commonly visit the temple, as Chottanikkara devi is thought to cure her devotees. One should not miss the ‘Guruthi Pooja’ in the ‘Keezhkkaavu’ temple at Chottanikkara. Goddess ‘keezhkkaavu devi’ is believed to be ‘Bhadrakali'(Mahakali), in her fierce form or ugra form. Bhadrakali, is a form of mother Kali, supposed to be born from the third eye of lord Shiva, to kill the demon king ‘Daruka’. Guruthi pooja is a ritual done at late evening to invoke goddess Mahakali. Earlier ‘Guruthi Pooja’ was done only on Fridays. But nowadays, it is performed every day. Mental diseases are believed to be totally cured by Keezhkkaavu Kali.

‘Chottanikara ‘Makam thozhal’ is the famous religious festival temple.

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The area in which the temple is situated was once a dense forest that was believed to be infested by yakshis and rakshasas. A tribesman named Kannappan used to live in this forest. He was a devout worshipper of Kali, and would ritually sacrifice a cow to her every Friday(the day of the Goddess). One day, he found a beautiful black calf near the forest. He kidnapped the calf and took her to his altar. Just before he sacrificed the calf, tribesman’s daughter Manimanga stepped in and pleaded to him to stop the sacrifice. The man loved his daughter and thus let her keep the calf as a pet. Unfortunately, Manimanga died some days later, possibly due to a snake bite. Kannappan broke into tears and decided to cremate her body. To his surprise, his daughter’s corpse disappeared. A nearby priest told him the reason for such an occurrence; Kannappan used to forcibly take young calves from their mothers and sacrificed them. As punishment, he met the same fate when his daughter died. However, when the tribes man looked for the calf, he found two divine stones in its place. The priest again tells him that the stones were actually divine and that they represented the divine couple, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and to pray before these stones everyday and he would be forgiven for what he had done in the past.

Since Kannappan’s death, the stones were forgotten. One day, a grass-cutter came to the forest to cut some wild grass. Since her knife was blunt, she sharpened it on what she thought was a big stone. Only it was a stone, but then it started bleeding. Horrified at what she saw, she brought the matter to the public’s attention. A nearby priest was called to solve the problem. After devaprasnam, it was concluded that the stones were divine.

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