Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy Temple is a Hindu temple also called as ‘The Sabarimala of women’, dedicated to goddess Durga. The temple is located in Neerattupuram, Thalavady panchayat, Alappuzha District, Kerala and is one of the most popular temples in the state. It is open to people of all faiths and attracts believers from across the State. The Mother Goddess Durga is worshipped here. The famous rivers Pamba and Manimala flow on both sides of the temple.
The major festival is Chakkulathukavu Pongala which takes place in the temple during the month of Vrischikam (November/December).This is the time when the glory of the Goddess is at its peak. Lakhs of women devotees gather around the temple as early as even one week before the function. The temple premises will be overcrowded and the devotees arrange places for offering the pongala on both sides of the main streets. The queue usually extends to a surprising length of 20 km. Rice, coconut and jaggery are brought by women devotees along with round earthen pots for cooking. The Chief Priest lights the main hearth from the divine fire inside the sanctum sanctorum. This fIre is exchanged from one oven to another.
Panthrandu Noyampu is another festival celebrated at the temple. This is the type of fasting and prayer which qualifies the devotee for eternal blessings of Chakkulathamma. This fasting starts every year from the first day of the Malayalam month of Dhanu till the twelfth.
History Of Temple
The ancient history of the temple has some divine connections with the story of Sumbha and Nishumbha referred to in the Devi Mahatmyam. The story goes that two demoniac characters called Sumbha and Nishumbha derived super human powers through rigorous meditation of Lord Brahma. They received a boon that they could be killed only through a battle with woman. Such a condition being almost impossible, Sumbha and Nishumbha conquered Indra and other Devas. They became the unquestioned monarchs of the three worlds. The helpless Devas under had to flee away and take shelter in remote jungles.
Saint Narada feeling pity at the misery of the Gods approaches his father Lord Brahma. Brahma reminds Narada that ups and downs are the law of life and that was what the Gods were experiencing. There was only one way out for this despicable state of affair. Only one power could restore power and prosperity to Gods and that power was none other than the very Goddess. Devas accordingly moved in search of Goddess. Reaching near Himavan, the epic King of the mountains, they started chanting powerful mantras to appease the Goddess. They plunged into a he artful tribute of the Goddess who in herself was power, knowledge, creativity, benevolence and blessings.
Goddess Parvathy had just arrived on the banks of river Ganga. Echoes of the mantras reached her. There was a touch of grief and pleading in the sounds of Devas. Goddess Parvathy grasped the pitiable plight of Devas. There emerged another Goddess from within her as if something comes out of a cover. This was the incarnation of Goddess Durga, having taken a divine form to rescue the Devas from the hardships caused by the asuras.
The story culminates in a terrible fight between the “Goddess and Asuras under the leadership of Sumba and Nishumbha. It was an encounter unheard of ever before. Needless to specify, all the asuras were annihilated by the Goddess. The Devas got back the early powers and prosperities. Sage Narada appears in front of them and exults them about the invincibility of goddess Durga. She was the cause as well as witness for the creation, maintenance and destruction the universe, told Narada.
It is believed that the Goddess residing in Chakkulathukavu is a wholesome reaction of this all-pervading Goddess namely Durga.