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Sarkara Devi Temple Festival 2024 Dates - Meena Bharani - Kaliyoottu - Pongala

Sarkara Devi Temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess Bhagavathi and is located near Chirayinkeezhu in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. Sarkara Devi temple festival 2024 date is April 1 to April 10. The 10-day annual festival in the temple is observed in such a way that it ends with Arattu on Meena Bharani.

On the previous day of Bharani in Meenam month, that is on Aswathy nakshatra day, there is the famous Ural Varavu from 28 places in the region.

The main deity worshipped in the temple is Goddess Bhadrakali. The deity is associated with Kodungallur Devi. The main deity faces north. The moolasthanam or the original abode of the deity is the base of a jackfruit tree. 

Legend has it that Sharkara (Jaggery) merchants took rest in the Vazhiyambalam near the present Sarkara Devi Temple. The Sharkara pots got stuck in the place and they could not move when they wanted to commence the journey.

At this time Vilwamangalam Swamiyar came there and found Devi Chaitanyam in the place. He requested the people of the area to build a shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. This is how the present famous Sarkara Devi temple came into existence.

There is another belief that the temple is associated with Sharkara Kovilakam near Kodungallur and the name of the temple is due to this relation. 

The Upa Devatas worshipped in the temple are Ganapathy, Veerabhadra, Nagam and Yakshi.

Kaliyoottu At Sarkara Devi Temple

Kaliyoottu is performed in the shrine on the third or last friday of Kumbham month. It is said that this ritual was started by Travancore King Marthanda Varma after he had promised that he will perform Kaliyoottu if he achieved victory over Kayamkulam king.

Kaliyoottu is a dramatic presentation of the origin of Goddess Bhadrakali and Decemon Darika. Their confrontation and Kali annihilating demon Darika forms the theme of Kaliyoottu.

It is usually held on the first friday of March.

Sarkara Devi Temple Pongala Festival 

The annual Pongala festival in the shrine attracts thousands of devotees. Sarkara Devi Temple Pongala Festival 2024 date is February 14. The annual ritual is observed on the first day of Malayalam Kumbham month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Kerala.

Pongala ritual comprises of preparing ‘prasad’ for the deity outside the shrine. Women cook rice and jaggery in earthen pots and they offer it to the Goddess. They also cook different type of sweet dishes – called ‘mandaputtu,’ ‘appam,’ ‘therali’ – made out of rice powder and jaggery. Coconut tree fronds are used to cook the ‘prasad.’

The temple is decorated during the period with lights, lamp, plantain, coconut fronds, flowers etc.

Holy fire from the temple is taken out to start the fire for cooking Pongala.

The shrine also observes the annual Makara Bharani with some important rituals.