SRI KURUMBA BAGAVATHI TEMPLE, KODUNGALLUR

The Bhagawati temple also known as Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple, dedicated to goddess Kali located at Kodungallur, Trichur district is one of the grandest and ancient temples in Kerala. It is also one of the first temples in Kerala which removed the restrictions of caste and religion, and permitted devotees belonging to lower strata of the caste hierarchy, access for 27 days when other temples barred their entry round the year. This was long before even the Temple Entry legislation became effective in Kerala. Situated in the middle of about 10 acres of land, the temple's surroundings are extremely scenic and was once surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. There are a lot of secret paths, and chambers in the temple, that make the place all the more sacred and deep.

The Bhagawati temple houses many peculiar beliefs and customs. There is no documental proof as to who built the temple or when it was constructed. But there are many tales associated with this temple. One of the legends is that Parashurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, had a vision of the Bhagavathy around 1km south of the present temple and he worshipped her as Durga offering liquor and chicken, and shifted the idol of Kurumba Amma found there to the present temple site. When he expressed the difficulty of Sree
Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple, dedicated to goddess Kali located at Kodungallur worshipping the same way in the future, Bhagavathy is believed to have told him to celebrate during the Bharani in the Malayalam month of Meenam.

The temple history dates back from the Chera period. It is believed to be erected by Cheran Chenguttuvan the famous Chera king, for Kannaki - the heroine of Ilamkovadigal's Tamil classic, 'Silappathikaram' whose husband was falsely implicated in a theft of royal jewels and then killed by the king's decree. The story goes that Kannaki plucked her left breast in anguish and rage, and reduced the city of Madurai to ashes with her curse. At the end of her wanderings she is resurrected in heaven. She is also considered as a manifestation of Kaali or Kotravai or Durga.