Kadampuzha Devi Temple, Malappuram, Kerala

The Kadampuzha Devi temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is situated in the Malappuram district of Kerala. One unique feature of this temple is that there is no idol. Prayers are offered to a hole in the temple which is about six centimetres in diameter. Pilgrims from all over the world travel here every year to visit Goddess Durga. This temple is under the care of the Malabar Devaswom board.

Legend of this temple is closely associated with that of Arjuna from the epic Mahabharatha. It is said that Arjuna was in deep penance for Lord Shiva to obtain the Pasupathasthra. Mukasura, an asura, took the form of a wild boar and started destroying all the plants and animals around Arjuna. Both Arjuna and Lord Shiva shot an arrow each at the wild boar and killed the Asura. An argument ensued between Lord Shiva and Arjuna as to whose arrow killed the animal. A battle with a bow and arrow was decided upon and the winner was to be the person who killed the boar. After a fierce battle, Lord Shiva was declared the winner. Dejected by the defeat, Arjuna began praying to Mother Parashakthi and the flowers offered to her fell on the feet of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy. Pleased with his efforts and dedication Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy awarded him the Pasupathasthra arrow.

Another legend is linked to the great Adi Shankara. It is said that Adi Shankaracharaya was traveling through Kadampuzha grasslands when he happened to run into an invisible wall. He realized that it was Goddess Parashakthiand Lord Shiva in their Kirata incarnation. Adi Shankaracharya prayed to the Goddess and she granted him her vision and disappeared into a hole. He in fact did the first pooja offerings in this temple in the month of Vrishikam and the sanctum sanctorum is said to be built around this.

Two main rituals are conducted in this temple. One is the Poomoodal and the other is the Muttarukal. Poomodal is the offering of the Thecchy flowers. The deity is covered in flowers and this is considered as one of the most important poojas. This is done between nine and eleven in the morning. The temple premises are closed after this pooja. Poomodal is undertaken by one individual every day. A devotee has to wait many years to do this offering as many pilgrims have booked for the same over the years. Muttarukal is the breaking of coconut by the temple priest in front of the deity. If the coconut is broken in two exact halves it means all the problems will be taken care of by the Goddess. If a coconut is not broken into two equal halves, then subsequent coconuts are broken until two exact halves are got. This ensures that all the problems will be solved by goddess Devi. The coconuts are dipped in the waters of the temple pond and one need to stand in huge queues to complete this ritual. The Muttarukal is performed only between five and seven in the morning on weekdays and in the weekends between five and seven in the morning and between three and five forty five in the evening.

Annadanam or food offering is done in the temple everyday. The special days in the temple are Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Karthikai day in the month of Vrishikam is considered very auspicious and is celebrated in a grand manner. The deity is said to be made of Pancha lokham and is considered Goddess Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswarti and Bhadrakali all in one form of Kirati. The best time to see the deity is in the early morning prior to the Poomodal pooja.

The nearest railway stations are that of Thirur and Kuttipuram. The Calicut international airport is the closest from the temple. The Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Amman temple is well connected by bus routes too. Direct buses to this temple can be taken from Guruvayoor, Palghat, Nilambur, Manjeri, and Calicut.