Sree Rajagopala Krishna swamy Temple, Kodungallor
Since the temple income was meager, it became difficult and the committee expressed their inability to run the temple further. At that time, Sri Janardhana Bhat, brother of the main poojari, accepted the key of the srikovil and run it for about 8 years with his own funds. In 1880 AD, he started annual ulsav in the temple. The community members felt that Sri. Bhat should not be taxed much and in 1894 AD, the governance was taken over again by a committee elected from the members. They collected donations and pooja materials from members and run the temple. In 1918 AD, the top of the Srikovil was damaged and a committee under Sri PV Janardhana Mallan was constituted to renovate the temple.
In 1921 AD, the prathista was shifted to the Western agrasala and the reconstruction work started with the blessings of the Kashi Mutt Swamiji Sri Sukrithindra Tirtha and completed in about 6 years. The punapratishta was done in 1928 AD by Sri Sukrithindra Tirtha Swamiji. The founders of Lord Krishna Bank were closely associated with the renovation of the Temple.
In 1937 AD, the governance has been handed over to the Kochi Devaswom Board.
Temple in pictures
View of the temple location in Google maps
Other attractions in Kodungallor
Kodungallur, situated on the west coast of India, was once a great port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu. It was known by the Greek as as the Musris. Until the great floods of 1341 AD, it was the most important sea port of west coast. It was also the capital of Chera empire. The trading contacts of this port with the Roman Empire, Arabia and China from the Pre-Christian era resulted in the formation of the earliest Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities in Indian sub continent. According to the legend of St.Thomas, Christianity arrived in Kodungallur in AD 52. By A.D 69 Jews persecuted by the Roman Empire also reached here. The Jews shifted to cochin only after the destruction of the port in 1341. Islam also arrived along with Arabian merchants. Legend says that Cheraman Perumal, the last Emperor of Chera Dynasty accepted Islam and left for Mecca.The origin of many main religions
KODUNGALLUR BHADRAKALI TEMPLE
Kodungallur Bhagavati temple is a unique temple dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali. The temple is situated in the middle of a plot of land about ten acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The srikovil is facing north. The western chamber of the inner temple is the seat of Sapthamatrukas (seven mothers) who also face north. The idols of Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are also found in the chamber, one facing east and the other facing west respectively. The idol of bhagawati is about six feet high and made of wood, carved from a jack fruit tree. The idol has eight arms which carry various weapons and symbols.
The most famous festival of the temple is Bharani. Thousands of pilgrims come to participate in this peculiar festival. The festival begins on the Bharani star of the Malayalam month Kumbhom (Feb-March) and end on Bharani of the next month Meenam (March-April). The festival officially starts when a goldsmith circumambulates the temple three times, ringing a bell, at about seven in the morning. It is believed the goldsmith is supposed to have polluted the temple. Flags of various colors are hung on the banyan trees around the temple. In the past, about six days before the Aswathy star of the month meenam, chickens were sacrificed in abundance outside the pagoda, usually commenced by someone from the Nair caste belonging to the house known as Kodungallur Bhagwati Veedu. This practice was however discontinued in 1954 in pursuance of the provisions of the Travancore-Cochin Animal and Bird Sacrifices Prohibition Act of 1953. Nowadays pilgrims simply fly the chicken in front of the altar and let it live there as a symbolic act.
The controversial element of the festival is the songs that are sung by the devotees for bhagwati. These songs describe the sexual organs of the gods and goddesses. They begin singing and wildly dancing all along the way to and in the temple premises though not inside the temple. Men, women and children of all ages sing in a moment of utter abandonment and high spirituality.
The temple history is closely associated with the legend of Kannaki (incarnation of BHADRAKALI) who left Madurai city after destroying it and reached Kodunagallur. The reigning Chera king of the time, Senkuttuvan, deeming Kannaki to be an incarnation of Kali, decided to erect a memorial for her. He went north, defeating and seizing kings who opposed him and brought a stone from the Himalayas to be set up as her image. This image was consecrated here in Kodungallur.
ST. THOMAS & CRADLE OF INDIAN CHRISTANITY
Kodungallur is considered as the cradle of Christianity in India. In AD 52, the very first Christian church in India was constructed by Saint Thomas at a palace called Maliyenkara in Kodungallur. It is said to be the place where St. Thomas first preached Christianity in India. Azheekode is the present harbour area near Kodungallur, which recalls the ancient Muziris harbour. The foundation stone for a new church here was laid on 13-9-1953.
The first mosque in India (built in 662 AD) is situated in Methala, 2 km from Kodungalloor. The Cheraman Juma Masjid was built by Malik bin Dinar, one of the 13 followers of Prophet Mohammad who reached the ancient port of Musuris on the spice route in Malabar in 629 AD.
This mosque was designed and constructed based on Hindu architecture. Mosques built all over the world face the direction of Mecca, but this particular one faces to the east. Unlike other mosques in India, the Cheraman mosque uses a traditional brass oil lamp, mostly found in Hindu temples. The pulpit from where the chief priest gives Friday sermons is made of rosewood with carvings similar to those in temples. A new masjid was later constructed near the original masjid.