Attukal Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
|Address:||Manacaud P.O, Attukal – Chiramukku Rd, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695009|
Legend / Local stories
The Goddess Kannaki (Bhadrakali) is the main deity in this temple. The mythology behind the temple, relates to the story of Kannagi who was married to Kovalan, son of a wealthy merchant. After marriage, Kovalan met a dancer Madhavi and spent all his riches on her forgetting his wife. But when he was penniless, he went back to Kannagi. The only precious thing left to be sold was Kannagi’s pair of anklets. They went with it to the king of Madurai to sell it. But an anklet was stolen from the Queen which looked similar to Kannagi’s. When Kovalan tried to sell it, he was mistaken for the theft and beheaded by the king’s soldiers.
Kannagi got infuriated when she heard the news and rushed to the King with the second pair of anklet. She broke one of the anklets and it contained rubies while the Queen’s contained pearls. She cursed the city of Madurai, and it is said that due to her chastity, the curse came true and Madurai burned. Kannagi is said to have attained salvation after the Goddess of the city appeared before her.
It is said that on her way to Kodungallur, Kannagi passed Attukal. She took the form of a little girl. An old man was sitting on the banks of a stream, when the girl went to him and asked him whether he could help her cross it. Surprised to find the young girl alone, he took her home. But she disappeared. She came back in his sleep and asked him to build a temple where he found 3 golden lines in his grove. He went ahead and did the same, and it is said that this is at the location of the present Attukal temple. Goddess Kodungallooramma (Bhadrakali/Kannaki) is believed to be present at Attukal during the festival days. Ponkala is offered to celebrate the victory of Kannaki over the king Pandya. Another story says that ‘Attukal devi’ is Bhadrakali, born from the third eye of lord Shiva to kill the demon king Daruka. Mother Bhadrakali is a form of Shakthi devi (Mahakali) worshipped mainly in Kerala. ‘Bhadra’ means good and ‘Kali’ means goddess of time. So Bhadrakali is often referred as the goddess of prosperity, time and salvation. Mohanlal got married at this temple in 1988.
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