The Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple located at 17kms from Ernakulam of Kerala is one of the most celebrated Hindu shrines of Kerala.The main deity being Rajarajeswari or Adiparasakthi or Durga Bhagavathy or the mother Goddess was brought from Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka. This deity is worshipped in three different forms as Saraswati in the morning draped in white, as Bhadrakali at noon draped in crimson, and as Durga in the evening decked in blue.
|Inside The Temple|
In the main temple, the golden hued idol of Bhagavathy 4 to 5 ft. high, is bedecked with flowers, garlands, jewels and bathed in myriad of lights splendidly. The idol has four arms. The upper right holds the disc, the upper left bears the conch, the lower right hand is held in a boon-conferring pose and the lower left indicates the abhaya (fearlessness) pose. The Bhagavathy is worshipped in three different forms as Saraswathy in the morning clothed in an impeccable white garment, Lakshmi at noon with crimson red cloth and Durga in the evening wearing a bright blue dress. Durga is a much milder form. The original idol of Bhagavathy, three or four feet high which faces east, is of laterite and is believed to be self-born (swayambhoo). This image called 'Rudraksha Sila' is irregular in shape, red in colour and is untouched by the human sculptor. This image can be seen only in the wee hours of morning at 4 am when the Nada opens for nirmalyam.
Adjacent to the image of Bhagavathy, to her right, there is an image of Mahavishnu in granite on the same pedestal. Vishnu and Bhagavathy together are referred to as Lakshminarayana. The deity is also called Ammenarayana, Devinarayana and Bhadrenarayana. Along with Lakshmi and Narayana there are idols of Brahma, Siva, Ganapathi (Ganesh), Subramanya and Sastha on the same pedestal.
|Way to kizhukkavu shrine|
There is a shrine of Dharma Sastha along with his consorts, Purna and Pushkala on the north-east side of the main temple. The Shiva shrine is on the south-west and Kizhukkavu, the shrine of Bhadrakali is outside the main temple on the eastern side.
There is a paala tree on the northeastern side of the kizhukkavu shrine, which is covered with long iron nails hammered on by the haunted victims with their foreheads. The famous pooja Valiya Guruthy performed in kizhukkavu on Fridays is said to cure the women of mental abnormalities.
Open 4 am - 12 noon and 4 - 8 pm
The annual festival (ulsavam)of the temple comes in Kumbham of Malayalam Era. i.e in February- March. It begins with Kodiyettu (Flag hoisting ceremony) on Rohini day, lasts for 7 days and ends on Uthram star. A special feature of the ulsavam is the daily Para ezhunnellippu and Aarattu
The "Makam" star is one of the most auspicious days during the period of the annual festival.Devotees from all over the country swarm in to the temple on that day. The ritualistic bath of "Devi" in ceremonial pond in the morning at the sacred pond at Onakkoor far on the northern side of the Temple. After this "Devi" accompanied by Lord Sastha on the back of the eleven caparisoned elephants march towards the "Pooraparambhu" the traditional vantage point where they remain till 11 a.m.
This spectacular show witnessed by hundreds of devotees who are enthralled by the enchanting "Panchavadya" and "Nadaswara" performances.
After the mid-day the door of Sanctum Sanctorum closes. Only to re-open at 2 p.m for the "Makam Darsana". The whole temple premises will be over crowded by devotees especially the women folk to have a look at Devi who appears in her sacred full-fledged splendour and glory decked in her sacred gold ornaments, precious jewellery and innumerable garlands. It is a resplendent vision. This is exactly the form of vision which Villwamangalam Swamiyar was believed to have had when he faced westward after the "Prathishta" (installation) of Kizhukkavu Bhagavathy, Chottanikkara Devi appears at this moment clad in glittering clothes brilliant ornaments and fine jewellery with her four arms bearing varam, Abhayam, Shank and Chakram (Offering gift and refuge) to her ardent devotees. It is fervently believed that Darsanam at this moment will result in the fulfillment of all prayers and cherished desires. It is fervently believed that those who gain "Darsana" at this crucial "Mithuna Lagna" , will be blessed with the fulfilment of their long standing desire and prayers.
Best Time to Visit
October to March
The Excecutive Officer,
Ernakulam Dist., Kerala.
Pin - 682 312
Phone: 0484 - 2711032 , 2713300
How To Get There
The nearest airport is Nedumbassery International Air Port near Aluva, about 22 kms away from Ernakulam, Kochi.
The nearest station is at Ernakulam about 17km away from Chottanikkara. The two railway stations in Kochi are Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Trains from the Northern cities/Southern parts of India stop at Ernakulam Junction.
Ernakulam Junction, D.H. Rd, Ernakulam South, Phone: 131
Ernakulam Town, Near North Bridge
Phone : 0484-2390920
KSRTC Central Bus station is near the Ernakulam Junction railway station.It runs Express and Fast services from Ernakulam to other major cities within Kerala and into the neighbouring states. There are plenty of private buses available for travel from Ernakulam to other cities. They operate from High Court Junction, Railway Station and Kaloor Junction.
Enquiry phone : 0484-2352033