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Khandakarnan – Story Of Kandakarnan In Theyyam Kavu

Khandakarnan is a ferocious deity worshipped in kavus or temples in North Kerala. This form is associated with Theyyam performance. The story of Kandakarnan is associated with Goddess Bhadrakali and pox.

As per the story, Mahishasura was annihilated by Goddess Bhadrakali. Manodari, wife of Mahishasura, performed intense tapas to please Shiva and get boons. Shiva was hesitant to appear before Manodari as he knew that the boons she will ask will create further problems in the universe. But Goddess Parvati forced Shiva to appear before Manodari.

Shiva appeared for a split of second before Manodari and gave her drops of sweat and disappeared.

Manodari decided that she will try out the usefulness of the drops of sweat. She then happened to see Goddess Bhadrakali who was happily heading the victory procession of killing Mahishasura.

In anger, Manodari threw the sweat on the body of Goddess Bhadrakali. Pox appeared on all the places on the body of Bhadrakali where the sweat fell. The Goddess became and fell down. Upon hearing about the fate of Goddess Bhadrakali, Shiva became angry and from this throat appeared a ferocious being. This was Kandakarnan.

Kandakarnan soon reached the spot and licked the poxes out of the body Goddess Bhadrakali. But Goddess did not allow Kandakarnan to lick her face saying that they were brother and sister – both were born from the body of Shiva. The poxes on the face of Goddess Bhadrakali became her makeup.

An angry Goddess Bhadrakali asked Kandakarnan to bring Manodari before her. Manodari asked the Goddess for forgiveness. She forgave the wife of the demon and named her Vasoorimala. She is worshipped along with Goddess Bhadrakali in Kodungallur temple.