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Valamchuzhy Devi Temple – History – Festival - Padayani Festival

Valamchuzhy Devi temple is located at Valamchuzhy near Mallasserry in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. This is one of the oldest temples in Kerala with a history of more than 2000 years. The annual festival in the temple is held in Makaram month.

Valamchuzhy Devi Temple History

Legend has it that a devotee brought along from Kodungallur temple, a flower that was the very incarnation of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari. He then had a dream that he should install the flower at Valamchuzhy where the Achankovil River circumvents the place from three sides. The people of the region who heard about the divine story built a temple and dedicated to Goddess Bhuvaneshwari.

Valamchuzhy Devi Temple Festival

The annual festival in the temple is held in Makaram month. The most important days during the festival are fifth day (Makara Bharani) and Pallivetta held on the 9th day.

The flag hoisting, signaling the start of the festival is held on the punartham day in Makaram. The fifth day 'the bharani' is considered most auspicious and the appindi vilakku nercha is held at 3 AM. A procession carrying trunks of banana plants and domes made out of palm leaves in procession by devotees is held on the day. It is believed that darshan of parasakthi, adorned with ornaments and shining in all splendor and glory will provide peace and prosperity to a devotee.

The pallivetta festival takes place on the 9th day of the festival. In the ritual, the Goddess goes on a hunting. The goddess leaves the temple premises with the Vilkuruppanmars to the accompaniment of singing, dancing and merry making and returns after the pallivetta to a ceremonial reception by the Anganamars. The pallineerattu is performed by the Goddess at the specially prepared Arattu Kadavu amidst great celebration. Devotees consider it very auspicious immersing themselves in water at this time. The utsavam concludes with the lowering of the flag after the Deeparadhana on the 10th day.

The annual Pongala festival is held in the shrine on the Kumbha Bharani day.

The annual Padayani festival is held for three days in Meenam month (March – April). The festival begins on Revathi nakshatra and concludes on the Bharani nakshatra in Meenam month. Padayani is an artistic creation made by fashioning the various murthis to resemble a specific shape. The materials that go into the making of padayani also include raw areca nut leaves mixed in natural colors. The help of a musical instrument called 'thappu' is also used for this. Ganapathy, Yakshi, Marutha, Bhairavi, Horse etc., are some of the murthis that also go in to the making of the padayani. Padayani stands out due to its specialties and attracts a large number of devotees.

Devotees from the karas start bringing in offerings to the temple by 5 PM on Bharani nakshatra day.

The famous sadya in the temple is held on Meda Bharani day and it includes 50 different dishes.