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Pandavarkavu Temple Festival – Muthukulam Pandavarkavu Devi Temple Story

Muthukulam Pandavarkavu Temple is located in Alappuzha district and the shrine is around 10 km from Haripad town. The annual festival, or utsavam, in Pandavarkavu temple is observed in such a manner that the pooram nakshatra falls on the fourth day of the festival in Kumbham month. The festival lasts for 10 days. 

The shrine is dedicated to Devi or Goddess Bhagavathi. The main deity in the temple faces east. 

The Upa Devatas worshipped in the temple are Sastha, Ganapathy, Shiva, Nagam, Ghantakarna and Sree Bhootha Natha.

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Durga and the murti was installed by Kunti, mother of Pandavas.

Various unique offerings are made at the shrine during the period. The temple is traditionally decorated with plantain, coconut leaves, flowers, leaves, traditional lamps and lights for the occasion. Traditional performing arts, music and dance are staged during the period. Caparisoned elephants, melam, fireworks and sheevali are part of the festival.

The festival ends with Arattu. The utsava murti of the deity is taken out of the shrine for ritual bathing on the final day. Caparisoned elephants and melam are part of the ritual.

Muthukulam Pandavarkavu Devi Temple Story

It is believed that the temple was established by Kunti, the mother of Pandavas in Mahabharata. She consecrated the murti here when she was on pilgrimage with her sons.

When the Pandavas and Kunti were traveling through the area, Kunti asked Bhima to find a spot where she could perform her daily rituals to Goddess Shakti. Bhima wandered in the area for long time but failed to find an ideal spot.

Bhima then came across a potter and asked him if there is an ideal spot nearby for worship. The potter told Bhima that he can take as much place here that can fit a pot. Bhima then identified a spot in the land of the potter.

Kunti took loose clay and crafted the figure of Goddess Durga. She worshipped the murti every day by offering thechi flowers and red banana.

The murti in clay was later wrapped in panchaloha to protect it.