The Sanskrit equivalent of Chottanikkara is Jyotikara, which means “one who enlightens.” Common appellations for the Adi Parashakti include Bhagwati and Devi. She is the supreme deity, and her three distinct manifestations—Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati—are animated within her. It is not surprising that Saraswati is venerated in a white sari in the morning, while Mahalakshmi is adorned in a vibrant red sari with an ornate Shringar at noon. She is venerated in the evening as Mahakali or Durga, attired in a blue garment. Upon my morning visit to the templ.

The doors of the Mookambika Temple are not unlocked until the late morning, when the goddess Saraswathi returns. According to legend, Adi Shankaracharya meditated atop a hill in order to transport Sharadamba to Kerala. Goddess acquiesced and accompanied him, contingent upon his supplication that he not retreat. Adi Shankara maintained a tally of anklet sounds. After realizing that the anklets were silent, he halted and turned around. It was in Kollur that Devi made the decision to remain. She acquiesced to the arduous request of attending the Chottanikkara temple each morning. Encircled in a white sari, she is venerated in this manner each morning.
Kochi's Chottanikkara Temple
Kochi’s Chottanikkara Temple

Situated in the southern suburbs of Kochi, just outside the city, the temple is constructed predominantly of wood in accordance with traditional Kerala style. It was presumably a wooded region in the past, but it is now essentially an urban area. Two Bhagwati temples are situated on two distinct levels within the temple complex, in addition to several smaller sanctuaries.

This expansive temple features a considerable amount of open space. In this location, the principal divinity of the temple is venerated in the company of her consort, Narayana. This creates the illusion that the primary Swaroop venerated in this location is that of Mahalakshmi. In Sanskrit, the principal deity is depicted in laterite stone as Rudraksha Shila. It is hypothesized to be produced by itself. Observe the golden cover, which depicts the deity in the guise of a human and contains all of her icons. The Vigraha of Mahavishnu stands adjacent to the Bhagwati Murti; collectively, they are referred to as the Ammenarayana, Devinarayana, Lakshminarayana, and Bhadrenarayana. Devotees would be heard reciting the mantra Amme Narayana Badre Narayana. In addition to them, Brahma, Siva, Ganesh, Subramanya, and Sastha are also in attendance.

Kizhukkavu Basilica

This ancient temple is situated on a lower level than the main temple and is reached via a flight of stairs. A temple reservoir is situated in the space between the two. Bhadrakali is the presiding deity at this temple. Despite the fact that “guruthi” originally referred to sacrifice, food is now offered as part of this puja. It is purported to exert a therapeutic influence on women afflicted with mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Additionally, those who are afflicted by malevolent forces frequent this temple.
This ancient temple is surrounded by a very agitated energy. It is literally palpable. Many individuals with mental disabilities are observed seated around the temple.

The trees encircling the temple are adorned with lengthy, heavy nails. It is believed that when mentally ill individuals are cured here, typically after 41 days of prayer at the temple, a nail is placed here. The temple website states that the patients employ their foreheads to strike these nails. Similar to the cradles I observed at the Trincomalee Koneswara Temple in Sri Lanka, the trees also bear small cradles. These are likely the work of individuals desiring to have offspring.

At this temple, Vedi Vazhipadu, or the explosion of firecrackers, is an exclusive ceremony. It is a form of Puja performed by the devotees of this temple. Individuals purchase tickets for this puja, and on their behalf, someone breaks pyrotechnics. During my two-hour stay at the temple, I could consistently hear crackers. They felt almost like gunfire. It takes place in the vicinity of the steps that link the two temples.
Navaratri is the most significant festival observed within the Devi temple
Navaratri is the most significant festival observed within the Devi temple. The temple serves as the venue for numerous dance performances and musical concerts, in addition to the ceremonial pujas and other festive occasions. Makam Thozhal is the deity’s yearly bathing ceremony, which takes place during her procession with seven elephants to the temple reservoir.


Tiny book Badianus Manuscript was in the Vatican library


Adjacent to the primary temple, an authorized temple store offers pre-owned temple artifacts for sale, including oil lamps and the saris donning by the deity. All the objects utilized in the temple’s rituals are regarded as invaluable by the Devi’s devotees.