Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chottanikkara Bhagavathi temple- Kochi

Chotttaikkara Bhagavathi temple is a very famous and ancient temple in Ernakulam district. It is situated 15 Kms. from Erankulam(Kochi). Bhagavathi is the synonym for Amman. There are two temples here, one for Chottanikkara Amma and other one for Keezhkavilamma which is at a lower elevation .One has to descend few steps to reach this temple.

The Goddess here is very powerful and Chottanikkara Bhagavathy is worshipped as Saraswati (Goddess of learning) early in the morning, Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) in the noon and as Durga (Goddess of power) in the evening. The deity is adorned with white sari when she is worshipped as Saraswathi and for the other two worships, She is decked up with colourful silks and ornaments. The main idol here is a Swayambhu and does not have a regular shape. What is generally visible is the deity adorned with golden kavacham with conch and discus in her hands.There is also an image of Vishnu inside the sanctum hence people refer to the Goddess here as Amme Narayana Badre Narayana.

Keezhkavu temple (the temple at the lower elevation) , the deity is Bhadrakali , another form of Mother Goddess and it is believed that a worship here for a period of 41 days removes mental ailments and rids one of evil spirits. Even now we come across mentally deranged people praying here. There is a tree inside this temple with hundreds of nails driven into it as a mark of devotees being exorcised here. See the last two photos with nails driven into the tree. Navarathri and Magam thozhal are two famous festivals here. Another interesting sight here is devotees offering vedi vazhipadu ( bursting of fire crackers called Kadina).

There are sub shrines for Sastha (Ayyappa), Siva, Nagas and Ganesha. The temple attracts a lot of devotees on Tuesdays and Fridays.

How to reach: Chottanikkara is just 15 Kms. from Kochi ( Ernakulam railway station.)
Excellent transport facilities are available as number of private buses ply on this route.
The nearest airport is Nedumbassery ( Kochi international airport)
Accommodation - Visitors are advised to stay in Kochi where excellent hotels are available of all ranges.


64 comments:

Anu said...

good one, chitra... i can never forget this temple... the first time we went there, we reached just as they were closing the doors... the second time, we went really early and had a wonderful darshan, but had to leave hurriedly since samhith, who was then a toddler was running around all over, and broke one of the tube lights leaning against a wall! thankfully, they were used ones, waiting to be thrown away, but we were too embarrassed to linger after that!!!

bettyl said...

Thanks for another great geological tour!

Mridula said...

Is that a wishing tree? It looks majestic.

lostworld said...

Marvellous!!!Same idol worshipped as different goddesses. Goes to show that God is One isn't it. Loved this little tit-bit:) I always learn smthing from your pilgrimages.

Insignia said...

I have been to the Chottanikkara temple as a kid, maybe 7 yrs old. I remember few things, especially the big tree in the temple. But its interesting to know that the same idol is worshiped as different deity during different time of the day. Thanks for this enlightenment.

chitra said...

Anu,
I have read your post also about your Chottanikara visit. It is considered very auspicious to visit this temple during Navarathri.
thanks for your comment.

chitra said...

Betty
thanks for the comment.

chitra said...

Mridula
It is a holy tree. When mentally ill patients are exorcised, nails are driven into the tree with the belief that the evil spirits would no more trouble the person. You will find lot of dolls also nailed into it.

chitra said...

lostworld
Nice to see you dear. God is always one, only worshipped in different forms.

chitra said...

Insignia
The memory of the tree remains always etched in the mind because of its appearance.
If one reaches the temples before 7 am the goddess gives darshan as Saraswathi after that you would see her in other forms only.

SathyaSridhar said...

Chitra, nice information about the chottanikara amman temple,, i hv never been to this place now i saw the pics of the temple in n out,,great job dear..

chitra said...

Sathya
Thank you for the comment.

....Petty Witter said...

I love the idea of a godess of learning, how wonderful.

Some more great photos, I especially like the last two with the trees.

chitra said...

Thanks PW
Nice to see you.
In Hindu mythology there are millions of Gods and Goddesses.

Sushma Mallya said...

Again a very beautiful temple, nice to know abt this one too...Nice info chitra,thanks for sharing

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

When you talked about the goddess being worshiped as three different avatars of Shakti, I was reminded of a verse. According to that verse, at the tip of your palm is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi, in the middle is that of Goddess Saraswathi and at the bottom is that of Goddess Gauri. If we see the positions on the palm as morning, afternoon and evening the order of worship gives a similar picture (except that order of worship for Lakshmi and Saraswati is interchanged). Whatever it is, it is really nice. Because for every pooja the idol of the Goddess has be decorated differently. It involves a little work, but the devotion with which the priests do their job is a treat to watch and also to see the Goddess being decorated beautifully is really a privilege. Also, this seems to be a different kind of temple. One has to descend a few steps, you say? Wow! I love visiting places that under-ground. It must be extremely cooler below there, isn't it?

Thanks for a wonderful post with good information and lovely pictures. :-) The flag post and the lamps arranged in lines were the most delightful ones for me.

chitra said...

Sushma
Thanks for the comment. I visit this temple at least once a year. Earlier I used to stay just 5 kms. from this temple

chitra said...

Vittal
You made it early this time. I know the verse. It starts like Karagre vasathe Lakshmi, Karamule Saraswathi....

The second temple, I mentioned is at the lower end of a slope. It is not underground. Both the temples face each other.

Vittaldas Prabhu said...

You are right. The verse reads:
karagre vasate lakshmihi karamadhye saraswati
karamule stitha gauri prabhate karadarshanam


Oh! I got the temple being at the lower end of the slope as being underground. Sorry about that. You say they face each other? That makes it really a unique style.

chitra said...

Vittal
thanks for writing the verse here. I was not getting it right. Thanks for posting it.
The temples on top faces east and the one at the bottom faces west.

R. Ramesh said...

enjoyed the pilgrimage thanks to you...:)best wishes

chitra said...

Ramesh
Welcome to my blog, thanks for your comment.
Keep visiting. Shall visit your site too.

Samvedna said...

You are opening a totally different world to me...

In north thse shivlings are called Swayambhu which are supposed to have come out themselves.

chitra said...

Samvedana,
Welcome,
thanks for the comment.Here also the natural formations are called as Swayambhus.

sm said...

thanks for tour

R. Ramesh said...

hey thanks yar chitra..hahah reading yr comment too about landing in soup instead of idli..thanks..stay connected..best wishes friend..nanri meendum varuga:)

chitra said...

sm
thanks for visiting.

chitra said...

Ramesh
Nice to see you again. Shall be in touch.

Sushma Mallya said...

Yes chitra you can parboil the potatoes, cut it into cubes and shallow fry it and follow rest of the procedure...taste wont differ...

Archana said...

Hi Chitra,
These are extremely important temples - they show the intermingling of many traditions within Hinduism. The Kali temple gives space to the folk as well as the Sanskritic traditions. On the other hand, worshipping the Goddess in her three aspects in a region normally devoted to either Vishnu or Shiva is important. The Goddess is supposed to be the sister of Vishnu. The Vishnu image is an indicator to this, and also to the fact that Vishnu worship is very popular in this area. Hence, in a Goddess temple a Vishnu image is installed.

The aniconic image of Swayambhu is interesting. Swayambhu is Brahma, father of Saraswati, who was attracted towards his daughter and entered into an incestuous marriage with her. Hence, worship of Brahma is banned in Hinduism - an indication that with the growing popularity of Shiva, Vishnu and the Goddess cults, Brahma the Vedic deity became less popular. The Pushkar temple of Brahma in Rajasthan is a modern one and the only temple where Brahma is worshipped - as a revival movement perhaps.

The aniconic image of Brahma here is thus important, because he doesn't have a figure in tune with the tradition of his worship being banned, but this aniconic image is recognised as Brahma because Saraswati is being worshipped here. It's like the Swayambhu being in the twiligh zone between a clearly worshipped deity and a not worshipped deity!

chitra said...

Archana
That is good information you have given.

But what I have understood is natural formations are called as swayambhumus here in South ( swayam = naturally)
Haven't heard about Brahma's name connected with the temple though I don't know much about all these things.. The story of Chottanikara Bhagavathi says that her presence was felt in this shapeless stone (Swayambhu).

Shri Krishna said...

"Saraswati (Goddess of learning) early in the morning,
Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) in the noon and
as Durga (Goddess of power) in the evening."

Great Information
with very attractive photos...
Thanks, I shared this info with my MoM...

chitra said...

SKM
Great to see you after a long time. thanks for the comment.

subu.ps said...

wow. Chottanikkara bhagavathi on your blog. Seems like you have been roaming around ekm and kottayam a lot. nice photos and info too!!

chitra said...

subu
Thanks for the comment. I am from Ekm and roaming these places comes naturally to me. Happy you too liked it.

Gopalan said...

Thanks Chitra for your wishes! I need it!! Gopalan

chitra said...

Gopalan
Thanks for visiting and all the best to you .

sm said...

Hi
thanks for the question regarding the blocking i will try to write a post about that.
if possible may i know which model or company mobile you are using .
thanks

Archana said...

Chitra,
Your explanation is also perfectly plausible. Since it s the local belief connected to the temple, it must be correct.

chitra said...

Archana,
Thanks for visiting again.

Babli said...

I have been to Chhotanikara temple twice. Its really wonderful place to visit. Very nicely written with full information. Lovely post.

chitra said...

Babli
Thanks for the comment.

രാജന്‍ വെങ്ങര said...

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R. Ramesh said...

Droppped in 2 say Hiiii:)

chitra said...

Ramesh
thanks for the visit.

Anonymous said...

amme narayana devi narayana lakshmi narayana bhadre narayana is the only sloka I know in the whole world. Amma is always with me. I hope to visit the shrine soon & seek her blessings. This time again for no fault of mine I became a scapegoat I only seeking amma's bleesing to save me. I am sure to be saved

Gangadharan said...

am Gangadharan from madurai , every year i take pilgrimage to sabarimalai each visit i go to Gurvayur and chottanikara temple. i feel so good to enter the temple during vritham , temples of kerala is so unique and powerfull .Everyone is equal and i think there is no special paid dharshan here ....
chitra mam i had a feeling of i was in the temple by seeing your photos .. nice

chitra said...

Gangadharan, thanks a lot. i am happy you felt as if you were visiting the temple. God bless.

sushmitha said...

Had a visit to this temple during my college IV which was unforgettable.. Thanks for sharing....

Sreekumar said...

Your blog is one of the best in its kind. Keep this going.

chitra said...

Thanks a lot Sreekumar.Happy you liked it.

Sushmita - thanks a lot

Sanand said...

Good post, the Chottankikara temple is my wife's special praying place and I have heard similar descriptions from her about this temple.

rajana said...

hi I am rajana we use to visit the temple since childhood,but this time I saw the swayambhu-decorated with flowers and chandan-since there was not much rush we had a good darshan- it was ata around 6 a.m-iwas surprised to see the swayambu-as I had seen only the goddess's kaappu till now.this year's darshan was soulfilling.

ashdoc said...

what do males wear while visiting the temple . is it possible to go wearing shirt pant or is there some special attire you wear ??

Anonymous said...

Chottanikkara bhagawat amme namaste amma.

Raj Writes said...

Madam Can you please throw more light on this temple, I wanted to visit the temple soon to perform guruthy pooja or bhajanam. I heard that to perform guruthy pooja the tickets been booked for next 12 years and to perform bhajanam, i have to stay in temple, how about the accomodatation?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am Sreekanth, we heared that temple is very special to cure mentally retarted people.
We are sending one poor family for mentally with one pperson but they are very poor.
Can you suggest any annadanam and free accomdation avilable there

chitra said...

Sreekanth
as far as I know the person can stay in the dewasom board guest house and annadanam facility is available . Anyway it is better to consult the temple directly befor they go to confirm both.
The telephonr number can be had from the website of the temple.

RAJ GOPAL said...

Hi Mam, Can this Devine Temple cure permanently the Black Magics that are done on my family.

RAJ GOPAL said...

Hi Mam, can this Divine Temple cure people of Black Magic & Evil practices done on a person & his family members on Permanent basis & give protection that nothing effects in future.

chitra said...

Dear Rajgopal,
There is a firm belief that the Goddess there protects and cures her devotees who totally surrender to her. Belief and faith must be strong. Go ahead and seek her blessings. I am sure SHE will not disappoint you. If any medication is required that also must be taken care of .You can also consult the temple authorities regarding this. They may enlighten you more. All the best.

Gopalan said...

Nice post. Seems to be a very interesting place. Good pictures too!

Gopalan

Anonymous said...

I wished to do swayamvara pushpanjali in chottanikara bt it was nt possible to visit d temple.... but miracle hapnd amma made me to visit chottanikara and do dat pushpanjali and i got darshana for amma ..... nw praying strongly and beliving amma so i my marriage happens
Amme narayana devi narayana lekshmi narayana badre narayana

kamala said...

Nice images.Very beautiful place in Kochi.On this auspicious day performBhagavathy Seva Pooja to Removes and overcomes the sorrows of life.