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Kunissery Pookulangara Bhagavathy Temple – Kunissery Erimayur Kummatti Festival

Erimayoor Kunissery Pookulangara Bhagavathy temple is located at Kunissery – Erimayur in Palakkad district, Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Devi or Bhagavathy. The annual festival in the temple is famous as Erimayur Pookkulangara Kummatti festival and is held in Malayalam Meena Masam (March – April). The main festival day is the punartham nakshatra day.

Pookulangara Bhagavathy temple has a chathura sreekovil with mukha mandapam, sub-shrines, namaskara mandapam, temple pond, chuttambalam with agramandapam. Navagrahas are carved on the ceiling of the agramandapam.

Pookulangara Bhagavathy Temple Kummatti Festival Story

It is said while defending their kingdom, the men of Kunissery desam died fighting the army of Zamorin of Kozhikode. The helpless womenfolk took refuge in the Pookulangara temple and prayed to Goddess Durga. The benevolent Goddess heard their prayers and advised them to jump into the warfront with brooms and winnows in hand. When the women ran towards the Zamorin’s army, the soldiers saw thousands of Goddess Durga in her fierce form running towards them.

On hearing this incident, the Zamorin Raja consulted his astrologers and he was informed that the Raja has earned the wrath of Kunissery Bhagavathy for his wrong deeds. The King soon reached the abode of Pookulangara Bhagavathy and prayed for forgiveness. The Zamorin also bestowed many of his Kingly symbols to the Goddess and became an ardent devotee of Her.

The king arranged around five hundred soldiers (Nair pada) from Kolakanadu for the protection of women . These soldiers asked the permission to participate in the Mamangam festival which they used to attend every year at Thirunavaya on the banks of Bharathapuzha. The king ordered to conduct a similar mamangam during Malayalam month of meenam in punartham star, the birthday of Devi. This incident gave birth to Kummatti maholsavam which is celebrated every year.

Erimayur Kummatti Festival

Kunissery Kummatti festival is famous for caparisoned elephants, panchavadyam, pandi melam, traditional temple art forms, effigies, and the 18-day Darikavadam kalampattu. Ten caparisoned elephants participate in a procession.

Kanyarkali is observed on the day before the Kummatti festival. Kanyarkali owes its
origin to the practicing of martial arts in the region, which was under the constant threat of attack from neighbouring Kongu Nadu. At the high point of the celebration, the villagers who have assembled near the temple are asked if they will defend the village. Only upon getting a positive answer can the celebrations proceed. If any one of the villagers dissents, the celebrations are held up.

During the commencement of Kummatti mamangam, villagers sing “kummoo...Kumu kumukummooo.....” along the temple premises and harvested paddy fields to inform everyone about the start of mamangam. The devotees take bath in the temple pond reciting devotional hymns praising the goddess. Large bamboo poles brought from the sacred forest in Nelliyampathy are used in the temple festival and this marks to the start of the festival celebrations. Devotees circumambulate around the temple with these huge bamboo poles in hand. Theses bamboo poles are placed at their respective positions in Vadakkethara, Thekkekara and Kizhakkethara.

Another attraction of Kummatti is a folk art called Ponnani Kali. For this the performers undergo vigorous training under an expert.

Punartham Oottu is conducted on the festival day.

The shrine observes Vishu, Navratri, Ashtami, Navami, Vidyarambham and Vrischikam Ayyappa Vilakku mahotsavam and Thrikarthika festival.

Pookulangara Bhagavathy Temple Timings

Morning Darshan and Pooja Timings are from 5:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Evening Darshan and Pooja Timings are from 5:00 PM to 7:45 PM