Famous Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple, Alleppey

Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple (Rajarajeswari) ..www.alleppey.info
Mullakkal Temple,  one of the most popular temples of Kerala located in the city  Alleppey,  is also known as Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temple  and Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple. The presiding deity is  Durga Maa with four arms, This 500 year old temple has a few legends related to its origin. The one related to its foundation goes like this. A group of Namboodiri Brahmins, escaped from the religious persecution from the Malabar region during the invasion of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, carried with them the idol of Mata Annapurneswari. Upon arriving here,  they spotted   the Jasmine garden  and felt it was quite appropriate to have a shrine built as per temple  Sastra. Accordingly they built the temple in the middle of a  Jasmine garden. In 1961 some cracks developed in the idol for unknown reason  and it was  noticed when a mentally affected person got in to  the sanctum and embraced the idol. A  new
4-feet tall Rajarajeswari idol was installed in its place in July, 1962.

Mullakkal Raja Rajeswari Temple, Alleppey.www.letsseeindia.com
According to another story,  the idol of Mullakkal Devi,” was  supposed to have been brought here by a group of exiled soldiers from Thekkumkur territory ruled by  the Thekkumkur king. Later a shrine came up in the Jasmine garden  under the auspices of  king  Devanarayana of Chembagasery.

Another legend  has it that King Devanarayana of Chembagasery,  before the Kodungallore Bhagawathy temple,  expressed his desire to have her temple in his place. The goddess appeared in his dream and told him that she would follow him.  While returning to his place,  he kept his umbrella  in the  Jasmine garden. Before resuming his journey, he was unable to take his umbrella back. Realizing a miracle had happened, he consulted the Brahmin Astrologers. They told the king that  it was Goddess' wish to have  a temple built in the place where his umbrella got stuck for good. Later Bagavathy Amman temple was consecrated in the Jasmine garden under his direction.

Payasam, Vada, Appam are normally offered to the Goddess as 'Naivedyam'(divine food)

Mullakkal Chirappu is a famous festival and  is celebrated for 41 day duration  in Vruschiga month (October-November).  Chirappu festival refers to the  last 11 days and the last two days of this Festival are  regarded as  the most special and sacred one. Thousands of devotees come to witness this auspicious  festival and the colorful elephant procession.  ‘Annadanam’- free food  is a part of this colorful festival  and 3000-4000 devotees are fed on this occasion.  The  first Sunday of  December witnesses women's festival marked by rituals and worships  done  by women only.  Devout women coming from  different areas  light the oil lamps on  the temple premises and offer prayers.

Another festival that is celebrated with grandeur and religious fervor is Navaratri (nine nights) dedicated to various goddesses.  Bommai  Kalu Festival” is  another interesting festival participated by elderly Hindu women. They set ‘Bommas’ (dolls) on ‘Oottupura’ and  offer prayers by way of reading  holy scripture of Hindus  such as Bhagavatham.  Thaipooyakavadi” is an important festival that comes once in a year. Traditional dances and kavadi aattam are part of this festival.

There are also small shrines dedicated to Hanuman,  Subramanya and Nagas (serpents) in the temple. An idols of Lord Krishna and Lord Ayyappa have also been consecrated.

The temple can be reached by rail, road and, of course,  by boat as this place is famous for back waters.

Mullakkal Temple Alappuzha, Kerala, India.en.wikipedia.org