Mannady road, north of the famous kottarakkara Ganapathy temple, Pallikkal Maha Devi temple has a rich history of more than thousand years. This temple is one among the Pathinettu pattupura kshethram of the erstwhile Mannady temple which is closely associated with the history of Travancore. For the numerous devotees around the globe Pallikkalamma is the mother goddess, who saves them from all the trials and tribulations in their lives. Contrary to Devi’s usual posture of anger, Pallikkalamma is a symbol of love and passion for her devotees. Pallikkalamma is a mother goddess with sathvika bhavam. There are a number of incidents to illustrate her kindness.
One among the legend is the visit of Kaambithan to the temple. Kaambithan was a renowned Sidha of the region. He was undertaking a pilgrimage to Devi temples. Thus he came to the world of Pallikkalamma. But at that time the temple and sanctum sanctorum was locked. Pallikkalamma felt the visit of her true devotee Kaambithan. Thus he heard the conch-shell voice from the locked sanctum sanctorum. The bells in the temple rang. Thus Amma proved her divine presence there.
Historical evidence about the importance of this temple is linked with Veluthampy Dhalava who sacrificed his life for the freedom of his motherland. After the very renowned Kundara Proclamation Veluthampy and his younger brother fled to the Mannady temple.It is sure that on the way to the Mannady Temple the duo visited the Pallikkal Mahadevi temple.
To the North side of the temple near by the Kavu(grove), there is a huge Cotton tree (Elavu maram). It is more than thousand years old. The tree can be seen from every part of the region. It looks like an umbrella to the temple. The devotees also bow before the natural wonder.
KULAKKADA THAMARASSERRY NAMBIMADOM
This is a very old thanthrik family in Kollam district in Kerala. It still holds the Thanthrasasthra, which was instituted by Parasurama. It is also believed that Parasurama brought this family from the North in order to systematize the ritualistic procedures in this holy book. With continuous and rigorous commitment the members of this family completed this work commendably well. These systems and procedures are being performed without fail.
The family got the unique distinction in worshiping the very rare moorthy’s such as Vallabha Ganapathy, Aavahanthy, Sreechakram, Bhadrakaly, Durgayakshy and Sooryan(Sun).These moorthy’s were consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the nalukett of the family decades back.Being the devotees of soorya, the male members of this family are known as Bhanu, which is a synonym of Sun. One among the Acharya of this family Bhanu Pandarathil, who lived from 1102 to 1184 of the Malayalam year, consecrated Swayamvara Parvathy and systematized the rituals for her.
This great family is the thanthry of more than 400 temples all over Kerala. There are historical evidences which suggest that one of the heads of this family consecrated the so called 18 pattupura temples of the Mannady temple in the first year of the Malayalam era (A.D. 825).
The Thiru ultsavam of the temple falls on the swathy (chothy) star of Kumbha masam. The functions start with Ashtadravya Ganapathy homam performed under the leadership of Thanthry Brahmasree Bhanu Bhanu Pandarathil. Then follows the 25 kalasam kalabhabhishekam, marappani pani sopana sangeetham and kalamezhuthyppattu. After these the famous kettukazhcha takes place. This is believed to be one the best kettukazhchas in the whole Kottarakkara thaluk.
Shortly after the Deeparadhana and kalamezhuthumpattu, Amma’s ezhunnallathu (Divine Visit) begins. Girls with thalappoli(floral plates) and men with vadyamelam accompany Amma to the temple of her main upadeva, Udayan thampuran.
The Ponkala of the temple is performed on the Sunday prior to Amma’s thirunal and parakkezhunnallathu. Four days prior to the thirunal, parayeduppu begins. This is the much awaited tour of Amma to visit her people. The devotees worship Amma by dedicating para before the deity.
Navarathry is celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm. Recitals by famous artists is a usual feature. Poojavayppu and Ezhuthiniruthal(initiation to the world of knowledge) will also be performed. Sapthaham and Navaham are performed on an alternative basis every year. Ramayana masam is also observed. Mandala festival is observed with chirappu and kalamezhuthumpattu for 41 days.
The main vazhipadukal include Panthirunazhi payasam, Kadumpayasam, Kudumbarchana, Swayamvarchana, Bhagavathyseva, Chuttuvilakku, Ankicharthi deeparathana, Swarna kireedam charthy deeparathana, Unniyappam, Idichupizhinja payasam and Aravana payasam(offered once in a year).The swayamvararchana here is very famous. It is believed that the obstacles in marriage will be overcome by praying before Pallikkalamma after performing swayamvararchana.
The most important and original Upadevan of Pallikkalamma is Udayan Thampuran. This is a Kiratha moorthy with a savage costume. The deity faces the south. This temple is maintained and supervised by the Devi vilasom Haindava Sangatana. Udayan thampuran the upadevalayam of pallickal devi temple.The main offerings here are idichupizhinja payasam, Udayanoottu jaladhara, nirajanam, mrityujnjaya homam, Thrimadhuram, Ankicharthi Deeparadhana etc.
To the North West direction of the main temple there is a Sarppakkavu. In this piece of land exists Nagaraja,Nagayakshy and the Chithrakudam. Noorum Paalum is performed on the Ayilyam star of every month. Ayilyam of the Kanni month is very famous here. Special pujas are performed on the same day. On the Ponkala day Naga puja also takes place.
Interior to the nadavazhy of the main temple,to the south of the sanctum sanctorum is the temple of Bhoothathan. This structure is a roofless one. The main offerings are plantain (pazham) and breaking of tender coconuts( karikkudakkal).
Exterior to the nalambalam and outside the pradakshinavazhy in the North West corner is the temple of Yakshiyamma. As per the devotees, the presence of Yakshiyamma is a reality. During the Padayany, at the time of the entrance of yakshikkolam this feeling of divine presence looms large there.The main offering is Ada.
The other Upadevas include Rakshas, Yogeeswaran and Maadan. The main offerings for Rakshas is Palppayasam , for Yogeeswaran pazham and malar and for Madan it is nivedyam.