Sri Chinakathoor bhagavathi Temple situated in Palappuram in Ottapalam
Sri Chinakathoor bhagavathi Temple is one of the oldest Devi temples situated in Palappuram in Ottapalam Taluk. Sreekovil is endowed with the presence of goddess Bhadrakali, namely thazhathe kaavu (lower shrine) and mele kaavu (upper shrine).
About Sri Chinakathoor bhagavathi Temple
The temple is one of the oldest Devi temples situated in Palappuram in Ottapalam Taluk. There are two sancta sanctorum (sreekovil) in the temple which is endowed with the presence of goddess Bhadrakali, namely thazhathe kaavu (lower shrine) and mele kaavu (upper shrine). Traditionally, the pujas in the lower shrine are performed by priests from Namboothiri community whereas those in the upper shrine are performed by priests belonging to Kulangara Nair family.
The temple opens at 5am and closes after the pujas and rituals in the morning around 10.30 am. Normally the rituals include ganapathyhomam, Ushapuja and Uchapuja . The temple reopens for the evening pujas at 5pm. After the deeparadhana and athazhapuja, both the sancta sanctorum will be closed around 8pm.
Palappuram is a small town, located 4 km from Ottapalam, between Palakkad and the Shoranur Highway in Kerala, South Indian noted for the famous Chinakkathur Temple and its festival (known as Chinakkathur pooram) held every year during February/March at the famous Chinakkattoorkkavu Temple of Goddess Durga.
Sri Chinakathoor bhagavathi The History
It is believed that King Zamorin ordered Land Lords to start the festival in Chinakkathoor in 18th Century. It can be seen that the Horseplay indicates the significance of Zamorin Dynasty (AD 825-1766). The heritage of Mamankam reflects the glorious past in the Horseplay.
Mamankam. (Mahamagham/Jubily) used to be celebrated once in twelve years on Makam day. In the ancient times Perumal kings were the authority of this gala. After the departure of last Perumal, the leadership was taken by valluvanad King. Till 12th century Valluvanad Kings were in-charge of this festival which was celebrated in Thirunavaya, the river bank of Perar. King Zamorin of Kozhikkode conquered Valluvanad King (Valluvakkonathiri) and captured the leadership of Mamankam. All local kings and lords consisting war troops could participate in this festival which would be celebrated for 28 days.
Mr. William Loagan, who was the Collector of British Malabar, says that the last Mamankam was held in 1743. A suicide squad of Valluvanad consisting four elegant fighters could challenge Zamorin for a war. Zamorin would sit in the War stand with the accompaniment of 40,000 Nair Troops.
Suicide squad belonging to the four families namely Chenthrattil Panicker, Verkkottil panicker, Puthumana Panicker & Kolkkat Panicker who were the Nair chieftains would be ready to fight against Zamorin’s troop of Mamankam courageous and radiant people of Valluvanad had to perform their undying thirst for freedom and satisfaction of making a rebellion against Zamorin. They knew that they would not return to their families. Thousands of ill-fated fighters of Valluvnad had lost their lives during this festival.
Sri Chinakathoor bhagavathi pooram is celebrated on Makam Day in the Malayalam month of kumbham which recollection is the vigour and spirit of Mamankam. Valluvanad, the cultural capital of Malabar offers the exquisite beauty of customery arts and Folklores on this occasion in a grand manner.
The spectacular procession of 27 caparisoned tuskers with the accompaniment of panchavadyam and pandimelam provide a colourful show to the viewers of Valluvanad. We can see a torrential flow of traditional arts and folklores like Poothan, Thira, Pulikkali, Kumbhamkali, Kudakkali, Theru (chariot), Thattinmelkooth (Dance on the platform) with inexhaustible energy and indomitable enthusiasm to the much acclaimed soil of Chinakkathoor Temple on the same day.
The celebration of the above arts provide a footstomping music and influential step which pervade the artistic vision of valluvanad.. The swashbucking performance of pulikkali & Ox Play (kaalakali), ear-breaking sound of para (drum) of Thira & Pootham), Variety of attractive illuminated Panthals, intensive movement of jubilant mob to chinakkathoor neglecting the penetrating heat of kumbham which reveals that nothing else can substitute this festival.
On the pooram day, people of Chinakkathoor Thattakam (place) would assemble on the temple ground irrespective of caste and religion to celebrate the festival bidding farewell to their crisis and struggles. Every one would like to participate in the predominant game of Chinakkathoor Pooram.
There is a myth about the origin of the Chinakkathoor temple which goes back to the Ramayana period. Rama and Lakshmana were wandering in search of Sita when they reached Vilwadri (the Vilwa Mountain). They told lord Ayyappa and Bhagavathy who were accompanying them to find a place to take rest. When they did not return even after a long time, Rama and Lakshmana went looking for them and found them taking rest at the top of the hill. The myth has it that an angry Rama pushed lord Ayyappa down to the south and gave a good beating to Bhagavathy. (The shrine of lord Ayyappa at Vilwadri temple is situated in a lower part from the rest of the structure now- like a pit and the deity is called kundile ayyappan or Ayyappa in the pit!)
Beaten up by Rama, Bhagavathy ran away from there crying “ayyayyo” and stopped running when she reached Chinakkathoor, Palappuram and took position there, facing the north.
The temple faces to the south today. There is a myth regarding this as well.
Chinakkathur Bhagawathi Devaswam
Ottapalam – 679103
Nearest railway station: Shoranur, about 20 km away
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 103 km away