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The Divine History of Devi Bhagwati in the devoted language, Malayalam

The Malayala Bhagavati is often spoken about as it is an important part of the legacy of Devi Bhagavati, popularly known as Goddess Kali in Kerala. She possesses a significant place in the way of life of Kerala from olden times. One who has thought even momentarily regarding this matter will be amazed at the comprehensiveness of the custom on the West coast. Kali in one term or another is revered by every one of the Hindus of Kerala from the highest caste to the lowest. Temples of Devi Bhagavati are by and large called Kavu, which implies a group of trees. Indeed, even now, there are Kali temples under banyan trees with no rooftop. Indeed, even in the temples without rooftops, there are openings, in places which are straight over the Murtis which open them to sun and rain. 

Devi Kali and her impact on the culture of Kerala

The Hindu goddess Kali symbolizes death, time, and Judgment Day. She is frequently connected with sexuality and savagery but on the other hand, is viewed as a motherly figure and image of protective love. Kali typifies shakti - female energy, imagination and richness - and is a manifestation of Parvati, the wife of the incomparable Hindu god Shiva. Kali is most frequently represented in craftsmanship as a fearless warrior figure with jewelry of heads, a bunch of arms, a lolling tongue, and waving a blade dribbling with blood.

In olden times, there used to be the Purohita area. Individuals from this section of the society performed religious work in Kali temples which were owned by the local community. In temples that belonged to the Nairs, the two networks of the Namboodiris or Embrans (Mangalore Brahmanas), which came to be bound together by different cultural ties, replaced the Nairs. In any case, even now, some notable Bhagavati temples have Nairs who perform the Puja. 

In the popular temple of Tiruvalayanattu-Kavu at Kozhikode, which is devoted to the family divinity of the Zamorin Raja, one season is separate for worship by Brahmanas, when the puja is performed according to Brahmanical rituals, and in the other season the genetic pujan — Musad (a Nair) — administers and uses meat and liquor for the Puja. Similarly, in the notable Kodungallur Bhagavathi temple, where the benefactor goddess of the Kodungallur regal family rules, one section of Nairs called Adigal performs the Puja.

Devi Kali is known to protect individuals from infectious illnesses like smallpox, cholera, and so forth. In the seasons when these illnesses normally show up, the temples are by and large occupied with different ceremonies performed to help devotees retain a healthy life and the yearly celebrations. Kalampattu or Daruka Vadham, in which the conventional melody portraying Kali's triumphant experience with the devil Daruka is sung by an individual from the Kurup section of the society, is the most well-known and the most economical. Pana and Mutiyettu additionally are other significant ceremonies.

Major Bhagavati Temples in India

  • Matai-Kavu (North Malabar)- The family divinity of the Chirakkal Rajas.

  • Lokanar-Kavu (near Badagara)- The family divinity of the Kadathanad Rajas.

  • Thiru Valayanad-Kavu- The family divinity of the Zamorin (Samurai) Rajas.

  • Tirumanthankunnattu-Kavu (South Malabar)- The family divinity of the Valluvanad Rajas.

  • Pazhayannur-Kavu (Cochin)- The family divinity of the Cochin Maharajas.

  • Kodungallur-Kavu- The family divinity of the Kodungallur Rajas.

  • Chottanikkara-Kavu (near Tripunithura, Cochin).

  • Chertalakkavu (Travancore)

  • Kiliyur-Kavu (Travancore)

  • Attingal (Travancore)- The family divinity of the ancient Travancore Maharajas.


Q1. What is ChottaNikkara?

The Chottanikkara Devi Temple is a well-known place of worship of the mother goddess Bhagavati. She is accepted to dwell in Chottanikkara alongside her better half Maha Vishnu.

Q2. What is Guruthi Pooja?

At the hour of the Guruthi pooja, individuals who are believed to be affected by insidious spirits are brought to the Kizhakkavu temple. It is believed that the Goddess Bhagavati, invigorated by the contribution of blood (Guruthi) throws the spirit out of the individual's body.