Historical Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple

Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Devi Temple Thrissur Kerala. ePuja
In the state of Kerala, there innumerable Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagavathy Amman  (goddess) and each one is unique in its own way. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple in Thrissur is an ancient one, steeped in history.
Paramekkavu Bhagavathy temple .TripAdvisor
Considered as one of the largest Devi temples in Kerala, Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple is quite popular and is on the outskirts of the Vadukanathan temple ground Paramekkavu, in Thrissur district. It is about two kilometer from the Thrissur railway station and 52 km from the  Cochin International Airport. This Devi temple is dedicated to Vaishnavy, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is also one of the participating temples of the famous Thrissur Pooram festival that is held annually and that attracts devotees in thousands from Kerala and other places. There is a colorful and fascinating temple ceremony, involving the procession of fifteen well-decorated caparisoned elephants,  from Paramekkavu to the Vadakkumnathan temple, the venue of the Pooram festival. It is an exciting event on an auspicious day and lots of tourists witness the participation of a large number of trained temple elephants that behave in a disciplined manner. Paramekkavau Bhagavathy is the most significant among the nine deities participated in the pooram festival. Navarathry, Makara Chowa, Sivarathri are the other important festivals.

The legend/sthalapurana has it that a Karnavar, an elder member of an aristocratic Nair family of Kuruppal Tharavad, who was an ardent devotee of  Thirumandham kunnu Bhagavathy, used to visit this place regularly. On account of his old age, he made his last visit to the temple with a heavy heart and expressed his inability to visit the temple anymore to the goddess. After his intense prayers, he was on his way back home and took rest under an Ilanhi tree (a small fruit tree) near Vadakkunatha temple. To resume his return journey, he tried to take his palmyrah umbrella that he kept on the ground. He made a vain attempt to take the umbrella which was firmly fixed to the ground.  A Devaprasnam ( an astrological ritual carried out by the Namboodiris to interpret the will of the gods) suggested the presence of divinity, presumably Goddess Bhagavathy in the umbrella. The Nair family member - Karanavar decided to worship the Goddess there itself. It is believed that after the consecration of Vadakkunatha temple, the divine power - Chaithanya  of the Goddess was transformed to the present location below a Paro tree. After consecration, the deity came to be known as Parokkavu Bhagavathy . Later the temple was known by the name of  Paramekkavu Bhagavathy. The tradition has been that as the primary seat of the goddess was under the Illanhi tree at the Vadakkunatha temple, the very first lighting of the temple lamp is shown in the direction of Illanhi tree every day. The famous Illanhi Thara Melam is an integral part of the  Thrissur Pooram, a way of paying obeisance to the divine presence of goddess  Bhagavathy.

The temple complex is made of two shrines: Paramekkavu and Melekkavu. In the past before the 1960s, there existed the practice of animal/bird sacrifices called Guruthi ritual (in Tamil and Malayalam Kuruthi means blood) in this shrine by the people of Kizhakkumpattukara village. Goddess Bhagavathy (Durga) is the principal deity of both the shrines.
Paramekkavu Bhagavathy temple www.trawell.in/
The idol of the Goddess Paramekkavu Bhagavathy was a wooden one (daru silpa).  The newly carved daru silpa - the wooden idol of Goddess with eight arms and in sitting posture was consecrated in 1997.  There are shrines dedicated to  Lord Ganapathy, Lord Veerabhadra (Lord Siva) are the other deities. As in many temples of Kerala, the idols of Brahmarakshas and Nagas are also installed and worshiped in the temple.