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Khandakarnan Theyyam – Story – Information – Kandakarnan Standing Amidst Fire With Fire Torches

Kandakarnan is a very popular theyyam performed in many temples, kavu, devasthanams and tharavadu during the annual thira theyyam kaliyattam festival in Kannur and Kasaragod region of Kerala. As per information, Khandakarnan theyyam is a Shaiva theyyam and is counted among Shiva Ganas – Shiva bhootha gana. Khandakarnan theyyam story is that of him taking birth in the throat of Shiva and then appearing on earth from the cheek of Shiva. This is a ferocious theyyam standing amidst fire with fire torches around his waist.

Manodari the wife of Demon Mahishasura performed intense austerities to please Shiva. Her sole aim was to avenge Goddess Bhadrakali who had killed her husband. Shiva was not ready to appear before Manodari but Goddess Parvati insisted that He should appear before the wife of the demon.

Shiva decided to appear only for a few seconds. Within that few seconds, Manodari asked for the sweat that fell from the body of Shiva.

Shiva gave her his sweat and disappeared. Manodari returned back and saw Goddess Bhadrakali walking away happily after the war against her husband. She decided to test the power of the sweat and threw some of it on Bhadrakali. Goddess Bhadrakali was inflicted with pox. She started losing her strength and soon fell down.

Shiva who came to hear about this horrific event got up in anger and transformed into his Raudra form. Suddenly a murti took birth in his throat or Khanda and it came out from the cheek of Shiva. This murti was named Kandakarnan. He immediately went to Goddess Bhadrakali and licked her body and this freed her from the pox. When Khandakarnan moved to lick the face of Goddess Bhadrakali, she stopped his saying that they were brother and sister and he should not do it. Bhadrakali decided to wear the poxes on her face as a makeup or beauty spot.

Goddess Bhadrakali then asked Khandakarnan to bring Manodari before her. Manodari trembled before the ferocious form of Bhadrakali and asked for her forgiveness. Goddess Bhadrakali forgave her and gave her the name Vasoorimala (the one who spreads poxes). Vasoorimala resides in many important temples of Goddess Bhadrakali as a subsidiary deity.

Khandakarnan Theyyam has a unique tall headgear or mudi. The theyyam wears 16 burning torches around his waist.

The popular belief is that Khandakarnan theyyam has the power to cure all kinds of diseases.