UTSAVAM AT THIRUVARATTUKAVU BHAGAVATHI TEMPLE, ATTINGAL
The Kodiyettu Utsavam
of this temple, dedication to the Goddess Bhagavathy, is celebrated
in memory of the consecration of the temple. Commencing on the Makayiram
day in Vrischikam, (November-December) it ends on the Utharam day,
thus extending to eight days. The deity of this temple is the household
deity of the royal family of travancore. Performances like Kahakali,
Thullal, Harikatha, procession with caparisoned elephants etc, are
the main features of the festival.
KODUNGALLOOR BHARANI UTSAVAM
Kodungalloor the ancient capital of Kerala lying about twenty miles
north-west of Ernakulam had a hoary past. From the days of recorded
history, Kodungalloor had been the internationally known maritime
port of India. Even in those distant days she had extensive trade
relations with many countries in the West as well as in the Middle-East
and had earned the reputation of being the first 'Trade Emporium
Situated in the centre of an extensive bright sandy maidan, the
Bhagavathi temple presents a splendid sight. The Sreekovil is quite
an artistic feat. The idol of Devi is in the guise which she had
assumed when she fought Darika. Thousands of her devotees queuing
up in respectful submission cry in unison, 'Oh, Mother, save us'.
and prostrate before her. The Kodungallor Bhagavathi themple is
one of the wealthiest temples in Kerala. Till recently the administration
of the temple was in the hands of the Kodungalloor royal family,
but now it is under the Cochin Devasworn Board.
Bhadrakali born of the third eye of Samhara Rudra, killed the demon
Darika. It is to commemorate this event that the famous Bharani
festival is celebrated in the Kodungalloor Bhagavathi temple in
Meenam (March-April) every year. There is a popular belief that
it was Parasurama who, under the direction of Bhadrakali, had introduced
the celebration of Bharani Utsavam in this temple.
Early morning on Bharani day, a special nivedya, prepared with a
fine variety of rice known as Variyarippayasa nivedyam is offered
to Devi. This ceremony is performed by Adikals. Even before the
day dawns, the deity would be ceremoniously taken out of the Sreekovil
(sanctum sanctorum) and placed on a raised pedestal for public worship.
Simultaneously, the temple flag will be hoisted at the eastern-side
of the lamp post about the northern entrance to the temple. It signifies
the victory of Devi over Darika. Following the Bharani day, the
temple doors will remain closed for six days. On these days pooja
is offered only once a day. On the seventh day when the doors of
the temple are opened, countless number of devotees from throughout
the state will have darshan (vision) of Devi, for they believe it
is most auspicious to get the Devi's darshan on that day. On the
same day, all the flags hoisted earlier, will be lowered, marking
the end of the Bharani Utsavam.
The ancient and historic Koodalmanickam temple is situated
in the Manavalassery village, about nine kilometers from the Irinjalakuda
railway station. The deity of this temple is Sree Bharatha who is
generally not found consecrated in Kerala temples. This temple is
in the true architectural pattern of Kerala temples.
The festival here is held annually for all days in Medom (April-May)
from Utram to Thiruvonam asterisms, the flag hoisting being on the
Utram day. A mammoth crowd participate in this festival. Kathakali,
Ottamthullal, Panchavadayam and processions led by caparisoned elephants
are the special features of the festival.
About seven kilometers to the south of Chalakudy,
there is an ancient and beautiful village called Koratty. There
is an old catholic church there built in honour of St. Mary which
is locally known as "Koratty Muthy's Church".
The most important festival in this church is the 'Koratty Muthy's
festival celebrated during the second week of October every year.
It is celebrated on the Sunday after the fifth of October and people
from far and near flock to the place to give their offerings to
their Beloved Mother. This festival has importance as a great annual
fair of the locality. Being a predominantly agricultural locality,
farmers make their annual purchase of agricultural implements like
plough, kaicottu, water-lift etc. at their fair.