--> Skip to main content

Thayineri Sree Vellarangara Bhagavathi Kavu Temple – Thira – Kaliyattam – Theyyam Festival

Thayineri Sree Vellarangara Bhagavathi Kavu temple is located at Thayineri near Payyanur, Kannur district, Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Vellarangara Bhagavathi. The annual theyyam thira kaliyattam festival in the temple is observed for four days in Malayalam Dhanu Masam – Dhanu 14 to Dhanu 2 (December 30 to January 2).

Important theyyams that can be witnessed at Thayineri Sree Vellarangara Bhagavathi Kavu temple are Gulikan theyyam, Kurathi theyyam, Ankakkulangara Bhagavathi theyyam, Kanikkoru Makan theyyam, Vellarangara Bhagavathi theyyam, Bali theyyam, Raktha Chamundi theyyam, Kundor Chamundi theyyam, Vishnumoorthi theyyam and Puthiya Bhagavathi theyyam.

This is a small temple with a chathura sreekovil – square sanctum sanctorum. The shrine has a decorated roof with traditional motifs. There are other smaller sreekovils. Certain deities are worshipped atop square platforms and under trees. Important pujas are performed here on Sankranti day which falls in the middle of a month as per Malayalam calendar.

Thayineri Sree Vellarangara Bhagavathi Kavu Temple History

It is believed that the sacred site (arooda sthanam) of this ancient temple is the laterite stone structure, known as kusham, situated near the Madayi Thiruvarkkattu Bhagavathi temple. The artisan community, responsible for crafting temple artifacts, including the deity ornaments of Madayi Kavu, resided here, following their traditional rituals and ancestral vocations. There is a belief that a family temple existed here specifically for worship purposes. During Tipu’s invasion, the temple was reportedly destroyed, leading to the abandonment of the deity and associated tools in the temple well. Subsequently, the sculptors' ancestors migrated to Thayineri desham, where they continued their traditional occupation.

As time passed, efforts were made to restore the temple for worship, including a devaprashna chintha. During this process, it was discovered that a stone fell into the well while searching for the old well in the arooda sthanam. The well water reportedly surged with the sound of Omkara, seen as a divine intervention. The subsequent prashnachintha confirmed the presence of the goddess in the well, previously worshipped in Madayi Kavu. The name Vellarangara Bhagavathi was derived from the phrase "Vellam karayolam uyarunna," meaning "water that rose to the surface of the earth." Consequently, the temple was constructed in Thayineri, incorporating all the deities worshipped in the aarooda sthanam and conducting the necessary rituals—a tradition maintained for centuries.

In the recently reconstructed temple precincts, Madayi Kavilamma Sri Vellarangara Bhagavathi, the annihilator of Darikasura, shares the left palliyara (sacrosanct chamber) with the god of worship, Pancha Shilpis, and the son of Aruna and Devendra, Bai, and Puthurvadi Kannikkorumakan. The palliyara also accommodates Chamundi, Vishnumoorthi, and Angakkulangara Bhagavathi. The main palliyara, facing west, houses Kali Kundor Chamundi, who emerged from the copper vessels of Kandora Thanthri, and Kurathi Amma, embodying the essence of Parvathy in an alcove. In close proximity, just behind, resides the embodiment of Puthiya Bhagavathi, the destroyer of disease and disaster.

Beyond the temple wall, towards the south, is the dwelling place of Gulikan, believed to have originated from the toe of Paramashivan. Additionally, a Naga sthanam has been installed nearby.