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Cherpu Bhagavathy Temple – Thrissur – History – Festivals

Cherpu Bhagavathy Temple is located at Padinjattumuri near Cherpu in Thrissur district, Kerala. The temple is one among the 108 Durga temples in Kerala. The deity Cherpu Bhagavathy faces west. Here is a look at the history and various festivals associated with the temple.

Cherpu Bhagavathy Temple Festivals

Cherpu Bhagavathy acts as the host of the 2000 year old Peruvanam Pooram and is also a leading deity at1400 plus year old Deva Mela – the Arattupuzha Pooram. The deity arrives for Arattupuzha Pooram along with 30 elephants. There is a belief that the elephants of Cherpu Bhagavathy are the best (lakshanam otha anakal). Similarly, the Panchavadyam of Cherpu Bhagavathy too is the best.

The festival begins with the kodimaram nadal in Kumbha Masam.

Of the 18 deities who attend the Peruvanam Pooram conducted on the Pooyam day of the Meenam month (March – April), Cherpu Bhagavathy has a special role in the proceedings. Bhagavathy acts as the hostess of the show and comes last, waiting for all the deities to finish their processions before starting her own. Cherpu Bhagavathy temple has been setting standards in the making of elephant decorations, choice of elephants and in the quality of its Melam. It is said that the most musical of the Melams, called Panchari, was developed by the poet Mazhamangalam and first performed by the Peruvanam Marar for Cherpu Bhagavathy.

On Aswathy nakshatra in Meenam month Chathussatham – a sweet porridge made of rice, jaggery and coconut milk – is offered to Bhagavathy in the evening and later the thidambu of Bhagavathy is taken around the temple in a colourful procession.  Aswathy Panam, a token amount, is offered by devotees to have children in the family.

Makayiram nakshatram in Meenam month marks the formal start of the festival parades in the temple. Bhagavathy also goes out of the temple for Arattu – the ceremonial bath. She has processions and Arattu on all days up to Atham nakshatra in the month.

Uthram nakshatra day, after Peruvanam Pooram and Arattupuzha Pooram, is highly auspicious. The highlight of the day is Brahmani Amma singing praise of Bhagavathy in the temple.

The punaprasthisha day in the temple is held on Anizham nakshatra in Mithunam month.

Thiruvonam Pattu in the month of Thulam also is of great significance here. Devotees make offerings on the day for early marriage.

The annual Pratishta festival in the temple is held in Malayalam Meda month (April - May).

Oushadha Seva ritual is held in the temple on the 16th day of Karkidaka Masam (August 1).

Cherpu Bhagavathy Temple History

The shrine was the Desha Kshetram of Cherpu and surrounding areas.

The temple was one of the main centers of Yajurveda for hundreds of years. The Othuttu at the temple was also very famous. Both these rituals are no longer conducted.

As per history, the temple was built by Chittoor Namboodiripad. There was a difference of opinion among the Namboothiris of Perumanam village. Chittoor Namboodiripad decided to build the temple to defeat the Oorakathamma Thiruvadi temple.

In ancient times the temple was governed by five Ooralans, the families of Kirangat Mana, Chittoor Mana, Padinjaredathu Mana, Ambalappilly Mana and Pazhedath Mana.