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Kalamkaval Ritual In Kerala Bhagavathy Temple

Kalamkaval is a famous ritual held during annual festival in many Bhagavathy temples in Kerala. The ritual is performed mainly in shrines dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali and is associated with Goddess annihilating Demon Darika.

It is said that Demon Darika uses his Maya power to appear in different directions. Goddess Bhadrakali moves in each direction to fight the demon.

Enacting this fierce movement of Goddess Bhadrakali forms the main ritual of Kalamkaval. The chief priest carries the thidambu or murti of Bhagavathy on this head. The priest or the person taking the thidambu now represents Goddess Kali.

He first moves in slow steps to the accompaniment of temple drums. The movements get vigorous as time passes. He moves in all directions and soon attains a trance like state. The priest then falls unconscious.

As the person performing Kalamkaval represent Devi, he wears anklet, traditional ornaments of goddess including kappu, vanki, odayanam, palakka mala, pichimottu mala etc).

It is believed that the person can lift the big headgear only if he has the blessings of Goddess.