Vadakkanthara Bhagawathy Temple
This temple is located in Vadakkan thara locality of the Palakkad town. It is believed to be a Kannagi temple.
Kannagi is the heroine of the famous Tamil epic –Silappadikaram. Her husband Kovilan is wrongly sentenced by the king of Madurai to death. When Kannagi came to know of this she asked for justice. The king realizing his mistake died instantly. In her fury Kannagi burnt the city of Madurai and then came and settled down as a Goddess in Kodsungaloore. But on her way to Kodungallore, she took rest under a fig tree In Vadakkanthara, Palakkad. In the place where she took rest an idol was formed. Since no roof was built over the goddess, she was called Thiru purakkal Bhagawathy. Even in rainy seasons during heavy downpour along with wind none of the oil lamps burning in front of the Goddess are disturbed or put out. The serene atmosphere is always in our mind when we go home after darshan of Devi.
There is another story that Lord Shiva created Kannagi along with Kannu kottu Bhagawathy and Kannadathu Bhagawathy to kill Dharuka Kannagi after killing of Dharuka, was born as a human being Called Kannagi, who burnt the city of Madurai as told above. She came to Kerala along with her two sisters.A king called Keasari Verma built a temple for all the three of them. Later it seems the Kannadathu and Kannu Kottu Bhagawathy went and settled in a place called Pirayari, where the temple for Kannu kottu Bhagawathi is still there. A temple was later built near Thirunallai village of Palakkad for Kannadathu Bhagawathy. Only Kannagi remained in a place called “Nadu pathi mandil.” Once when there was a war(Padayottam ) in Palakkad, the temple was shifted to the present location.
There is yet another story that the idol of Kannagi was brought was brought to Kerala by a group of People calleds Muthaan from Tamil Nadu,, when the Pandya king wanted to marry Kannagi.The Moothaans are merchants Their caste deity is Kannagi. They have also built a temple for her in a place called Moothan Tharai, in Palakkad itself.
In the month of Kumbam (February-March), the Vadakkanthara Vela is celebrated.This is one of the famous festivals of Palakkad.
The Devi is very powerful and rush of devotees is large, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays. The temples normally opens at 4.30AM in the morning with devotional songs are broadcast through loud speakers It remains open up to 12 noon when the Ucha Pooja takes place.Then the temple opens at 4 30 Pm and remains open up to 8.30 Pm
The Koottu payasam vazhipadu at Uchcha pooja is famous and the taste of the payasam prasadam remains in our tongues for ever.Hundreds of devotees make cheettu for koottupayasam vazhipadu every day.
Another famous vazhipadu is kadhana - vedi - Daily at 7.30 AM., 11.45 AM and 6.15PM (Evening the number of vedi is more - almost a hundred-) kadana is lighted and the sound can be heard in many parts of Palakkad town. Another vazhipadu is Vivaha archana.
- Navarathri festival is very important.Many famous carnatik singers come to this temple during Navarathri and sing in front of Bhagavathi.Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar used to find time in his busy schedule and come to this temple every year without fail and render his kacheri in front of Devi.
- Vijayadasami day is reserved for students of Palakkad Music Academi (Chembai Music Academi) and other beginers - arangettam.
- Another festival is Vadakkanthara Vela (Valiya vela. This is celebrated once in three years on the last Friday of Kumbha masam - Feb-March. In the year of Vadakkanthara valiya vela, all Fridays of Kumbah masam are important and cheriya velas with one to three elephants, come to temple organised by many groups. On Vadakkanthara valiya vela day 9 or 11 elephants take part and the night vedikkattu is very famous. The temple is run by executive officer appointed by Govt Devaswom Board.