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Pallathamkulangara Temple - Festival - Story

Pallathamkulangara Temple is located at Kuzhuppilly on the Vypin – Munambam Road in Ernakulam district. The 8-day annual festival in Pallathamkulangara temple is observed in such a way that it ends on the Bharani Nakshatra in Kumbham month. The temple is famous daily arattu, vela, padayani, thalappoli and thookam on Bharani day.

The festival starts with the kodiyettam of flag hoisting on Thiruvonam nakshatra and ends with Thookam after the arattu on Bharani nakshatra day.

The temple performs arattu on all days of the festival unlike arattu on the final day of the festival in other temples.

Thalappoli is observed on the fifth day of the festival – Uthrattathi day. The Thalappoli mahotsavam is a held in a competitive spirit between two sections of the region.

Panchavadyam, Chenda Melam, caparisoned elephants and fireworks are part of the Thalappoli festival.

On the day of Thalappoli the elephant that can keep its head in a most elevated manner is selected for placing the Thidambu. Escorted by the beats of ‘paani’ (a special metallic musical instrument, round in shape, beaten with wooden stick) the procession circles the temple thrice. The right of possessing the Thidambu will be exercised by either sides on alternative years.

In front of the nearby Kuzhuppilly Sree Mahadeva Temple, the southern party, ‘Thekke Cheruvaram’ starts their Panchavadyam performance, meanwhile, the northern party, ‘Vadakke Cheruvaram’ performs in the elephant stage, ‘Aanapanthal’ on the western side. Chenda Melam (beating of the traditional drums along with accompanying instruments) starts at 5 PM in the evening and around 6 pm both parties enter in their respective poo panthal (stages decorated with flowers) built face to face in the western ground of the temple.

Then, the battle of colorful Kudamattam hoisting of colorful umbrellas atop elephant takes place. The pooram ends at 8 PM with fireworks of Vadakke Cheruvaram and Thekke Cheruvaram.

Gurusi Puja is offered to Goddess Bhagavathi at night followed by Thalam procession from different parts. The night pooram begins at 2 AM.

Now the Panchavadyam of Vadakke Cheruvaram starts from the adjacent Kuzhuppilly Sree Balakrishna Swamy Temple and Thekke Cheruvaram from a place near to the Kuzhuppilly Sree Mahadeva Temple. Both of which have a grand ending in the Poo Panthal.

Then both parties assemble to join the kooti ezhunnallippu (joint procession) accompanied by Pandi Melam and at the height of melam, Melsanthi escorted with nadaswaram after showing lighted camphor receives the holy mother back to the temple, devotees with thalams in their hands and kurava joints the melsanthi.

The temple remains closed for 7 days after the Bharani Arattu in Kumbham month.

Pallathamkulangara Bhagavathi

The main deity worshipped in the temple is Goddess Bhagavathi. The main deity faces west and there are no Upa Devatas in the temple.

It is said that the land in which the present temple stands was earlier sea. Fishermen got the moola vigraham of mother goddess from the sea and they gave it to the chieftain of the area. Soon seas retreated from the area and the murti of Mother Goddess got fixed in a particular spot and people were unable to move it. The newly formed land was called pallath. As the temple was built on pallath, the shrine was known as Pallath temple and it later came to be known as Pallathamkulangara Devi Temple.

The presence of Budha Navagraha – God of wisdom in Hindu religion – is seen in the temple. Students offer prayers here for success in exams and perform the Vidya Mantra Archana.