Thirumandankunnu Bhagawathy Temple

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By P.R.Ramachander


This is one of the most important temples of Malabar. The temple is situated on a small hill in Angadippuram which is near Perunthal manna, which is about 60 kilometer from Shoranur. Angadippuram is also a railway station in the Shoranur-Nilambur route. People who do not get married come to this temple for performing special pooja to get married.

It is believed that this temple is associated with king Mandhatha, who was an ancestor of Lord Rama., The story goes like this. Yuvanasva was a great king in the Ikshuvaku dynasty. He did not have children. He happened to go to the ashram of Bhrugu Maharishi. The sage agreed to do a special pooja. It happened that Yuvanasva drank the divine water kept in a pot after pooja in the sage’s ashram. He became pregnant. A son was delivered to him by cutting his stomach. When the child was crying for milk, Devendra asked the child to suck its own thumb saying “Maam daasya (drink me)”. This boy became a great king called Mandatha. He pleased Lord Shiva by doing great penance and at last Lord Shiva appeared before him and gave him, Shiva’s own statue, which goddess Parvathi worshipped for getting him as her husband. Mandatha consecrated this Lingam in Thiru Mandhan Kunnu. When Goddess Parvathi came to know about it, she was upset and sent her daughter Bhadrakali to recover it. There was Great War between Bhadrakali and Mandatha. (commemorating this, there is a festival in this temple in the month of Thula in which two groups of people throw Attanga (a wild fruit of a tree growing in the temple) at each other). When Bhadrakali tried to snatch the Shiva Linga from the hands of Mandatha, it split in to two. Lord Shiva and Parvathi appeared before them. This is why the Shiva lingam installed in the temple is split in to two. Then King Mandatha consecrated another temple for Bhadrakali, who was the daughter of Parvathi. She faces north at this temple. When King Mandatha was nearing his end, two learned Brahmins came to the temple. The king taught all the rituals to be followed to them and entrusted the temples to them. He is supposed to have attained Samadhi then. His Samadhi can be found in Kukshipara which is to the north of the main temple.

Some texts say that this temple was built in 343 AD. The ayilya star of the Kanni month (September-October) is celebrated as the founder’s day. Some people say the Goddess at Kodungalloor is the sister of the Bhadra Kali here. Among all the three gods, Bhadra kali is considered most important. But any one visiting the temple should first visit the Lord Shiva temple and The Parvathi temple before visiting the Bhadra Kali temple. The Shiva lingam in this temple can be seen only during early morning and during the Abhisheka before. Puffed rice is offered to the God. On the Northern side of the Shiva temple is the place where Goddess Parvathi prayed to get him as her husband.

The Bhdrakali Statue is made out of Jack wood. And no Abhisheka is performed to her. She has eight arms and holds sword., Soola, snake and Stick in her right hands and Asura’s head, bell, sword and shield in her left hands, She sits with her left leg folded and right leg hanging down. She appears as terrible to bad people and merciful to good people. Once in a year Chandu (kum kum paste) is applied on the statue in a ceremony called Chandattam. The western gate of this temple is always kept closed. It would open only if the king of Vellatiri kingdom who built the temple comes to visit the temple. This temple was initially under the management of this king.

Mangalya Pooja is extremely important in this temple. It is believed that if this is done, the concerned person would get married soon. This is done in the month of Thula (October-November) on the first Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The people doing this Pooja should come to the temple at 9 AM. After the Pantheeradi pooja they should go to the Parvathi temple. The chief priest will give them a garland made of leaf and betel leaf. They have to eat the betel leaf. And wear one leaf per day from the garland on their heads. Very large number of people from all over India come to this temple to attend this pooja and get married. The pooram festival of this temple, which is held in the month of Vruschigam (November-December) is a great festival of this temple.