Kadampuzha Bhagavati Temple

Kadampuzha Bhagavati Temple is located in the Malappuram district in a place named Vettichira. The main deity here is the Goddess Parvathy in form of Durga.

This is a very powerful temple and attracts a huge number of pilgrims from all around Kerala. The temple is believed to be in existence for more than thousand years.
Legends says that this temple was consecrated by Adi Shankara in the 8th century AD. The Goddess Parvathy has the nature of a tribal lady and it is believed to be related to a legend in the epic Mahabharata.

One of the most important offering at the temple is called "Poo Moodal" this is a ritual by which the idol is covered in heap of flowers. There are no regular poojas or festival for this temple.
However due to ancient grace the temple stands as one of the most prominent pilgirm centers in Kerala. There is an interesting legend behind how the temple came into existence.

Kadampuzha Bhagavati Temple - Temples of Kerala
Kadampuzha Temple
By Prof tpms (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The legend is related to Arjuna. Arjuna was doing a hard penance to please Shiva and obtain special. Even after hard penance for years, Shiva did not manifest in front of Arjuna. Goddess Parvathy, the consort of Lord Shiva was curious to know why Shiva had not pleased yet. Shiva told Parvathy that Arjuna lacks the humility to have the divine weapons. To test him Shiva took the form of "Kirata" or a wild tribal and Goddess Parvathy as his wife - a tribal lady. During this time, Duryodhana the arch enemy of Arjuna sent a demon named Mookasura to interrupt the penance of Arjuna. Mookasura took the form of a wild boar and charged at Arjuna. Seeing this Shiva in the tribal disguise shot an arrow at the demon to save Arjuna. However Arjuna also shot the arrow at the same time. A proud Arjuna was not ready to accept that a mere tribal man helped him. So an argument ensued between Arjuna and the tribal man(Shiva). A fight followed and even lord Shiva couldn't match the skill of Arjuna and soon Shiva was fatally wounded, seeing this Parvathy Devi cursed Arjuna that all the arrows he shot became flowers before hitting Shiva. Arjuna finally realized that it is the divine couple in disguise and prayed for forgiveness. Shiva was happy and presented him with the famous "Pashupath Asthram" or a magical arrow.

It is believed that in Kadampuzha temple, Goddess Parvathy is present in the form of that tribal women. This belief is strengthened by the fact that, there is a "Kirata Shiva Temple" (ie Shiva in the tribal form) present at about 2km from the Kadampuzha temple. The idol of Shiva is seen as wearing a bow and arrow and in the attire of a forest man. Devotees believe that the Goddess in Kadampuzha temple would be pleased only if they also visit her husband Shiva in the Kirata Shiva temple.

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