Sarkaradevi Temple

 

Sree Sarkaradevi Temple is one of the most important temples in south india. It is situated South of the Chirayinkil Taluk which lies North-West of Trivandrum District. The nearest town is Varkala and Attingal. Tradition accords a remote antiquity to this temple. Its main deity worshipped is Bhadrakali. Sree sarkaradevi Temple assumed a significant status many reasons and rose to historical importance mainly with the introduction of the famous Kaliyoot festival by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the travancore sovereign, in 1748

Chirayinkeezhu Taluk being directly under the immediate administration of the Attingal Swarupam, the Attingal Ranis where entrusted by the Travancore Raja with the conduct of the elaborate festival of Kaliyoot. The Attingal Ranis being related to the Travancore royal family through adoption from the Kolathunadu royal family. From the time of Venad Kings, had enjoyed independent rights in several respects over the neighbouring regions and temples and at times even over the entire Venad. Even the King Marthanda Varma annexed Attingal to Travancore, soon after ascending the throne Marthanda Varma decided to assume direct control over Attingal 'estate'. The Ranis seem to have been allowed to continue in their independent status in many respects. Hence it was no wonder that when the former decided to introduce Kaliyoot festival in the Sarkaradevi Temple of Chirayinkeezhu Division, he entrusted the responsibility to the Attingal Ranis, even though the finances came directly from the Travancore royal treasury.

Ancient Myth

The Story associated with Sarkara Devi has always attracted everyone irrespective of ages and years.. From the ancient history, it is believed that once Vilwamangalam Swamiyar(ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu) was offering special prayers for Lord Vishnu and Goddess BhadraKali . But Swamiyar failed to bring the divine presence to the place of worship and had to set off in search of them. In the forests of Ananthapuram , a Pulaya ( a social group developed from the caste system that prevailed in Kerala) lady was singing lullaby for her child , and when the child started crying hard she said if he keeps crying he will be send to Ananthapuram forests ..Hearing this, Swamiyar came over there and to his surprise saw Lord Vishnu sitting up on a tree and below the big tree Goddess Kali was playing.

On seeing Swamiyar, Goddess ran to hide from him, reached the grounds of Chakkiamma and joined the group of pulayas there who were playing in the sands. During those times, merchants used to carry huge jars of jaggery on their way to markets. On reaching the grounds, they used to keep their jars down to take some rest. Goddess found one such big Jar to hide herself inside it when Vilwamangalam Swamiyar came searching. When the merchants decided to leave, surprisingly they could not lift the big jar in which Goddess hid. Swamiyar, realizing what could have happened, came over to the astound people and declared that the place will be known for its divinity hereafter. Hence in the later years, a temple was built in which Goddess BhadraKali and Goddess DurgaDevi are believed to be residing in the deity shaped like a Valkannadi (believed to be an auspicious mirror used for looking on special occasions). Since Jar, in Malayalam it is called Bharani, was used to hide, it became the astronomical star of Goddess Kali.

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