Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple also known as Kodungallur Devi Temple, is at Kodungallur, Thrissur District, Kerala. It is dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali, or Maha Kali a reincarnation of Parashakthi worshipped in Kerala. The goddess is also called Sri Kurumba .This temple is considered the head of 64 Bhadrakali temples in Kerala. As per legends, Parasurama (avatar of Vishnu) was troubled by the demon Daruka. Parasurama prayed to Lord Shiva to help him. Shiva opened his third eye and thefigure of Kodungallur Devi is beleived to have been born from his third eye.
As per historical scriptures the temple history actually dates to the Chera period and is said to have been built to commemorate Queen Kannaki's martyrdom( Kannaki a devout wife of King Kovalan, who was wrongfully accused of being a thief and sentenced to death by a Chola king of Madurai - referenced in Silapathigaram by Ilangovadigal). Kannaki was considered to be a reincarnation of Durga or Kaali.
The Temple : The temple stands amidst banyan and peepul trees. The karpagraha of the temple is facing north. The huge idol of the Badrakali is seen with eight hands. This wooden idol is said to be carved out of jack fruit tree. One of her hand is holding the head of the demon king Daruka, another a sword, another hand an anklet, which they beleive the one which Kovalan ,husband of Kannaki, was alleged to have stolen, and another, a bell. There is a sannidhi to the west of the main shrine which houses the saptamathas Brahmi, Maaheswari, Vaishnavi, Indrani,Kaumari, Varahi and Nrisimhi. Inside the sannidhi there is also an idol of Ganesha and of Veerabhadra.
The priest does puja to the three Merus or Sree Chakras of the Devi which had been installed by Adi Shankaracharya. These Merus are covered with gold plating. But these are not easily visible from the outside. The pujas here are conducted by Konkan priests from Mangalore and not by Kerala Namboodiris.Bhagavathy is worshipped as Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and as Durga during morning,afternoon and night respectively.
On the left side of the temple is a small stone structure called Vysoori sannadhi, beleived to be a deity of smallpox and chicken pox. Devotees make offerings of turmeric powder and rubthem on its walls.
Festivals and rituals :One of the the important festival is Bharani festival during March-April sacrificing of cocks to please the Kali and her demons. This ritual is banned now.
Another festival is Thalappoli festival during the month of Makaram (January–February) conducted for four days from the evening of Makara Sankranthi with religious rituals. Decorated elephants are taken out in a procession to the accompaniment of Pancha Vadyam, Chenda melam etc.
Temple location The temple is around 33 kms from Ernakulam and 18 kms from Irinjalakuda and is located about 1.5 km from the Kodungallur bus stand.
Temple TimingsFrom 4:00 am to 12:00 noon and 4:00pm till 8:00pm
How to reach?
The nearest airport is Cochin and the rail head is Ernakulam or Irinjalakuda.From Ernakulam/Cochin there are several bus services and cab services.