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Parakkattu Bhagawathy Temple

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By P.R.Ramachander

This temple is situated in Kavasseri which is five kilometers from Alathur, and is twenty kilometers from Palakkad. The holy Gayathri River flows by the side of this temple.

The story goes that while Goddess Durga was trying to kill Mookasura, from every drop of his blood which was spilled, one Asura arose. Goddess ultimately killed all of them. One of that asuras was Para. It is believed that Para was killed in this forest and the name of the temple is derived from this. It is said that initially the Goddess took her place in a place called Paracheri but later migrated to the present place which is called Koottala.She was dissatisfied being there and requested for a fire torch (Pandam) from an old lady belonging to Unnikumarathu family.That lady made a bundle of paddy straws, tied it in a cloth and dipped it in oil and after lighting same gave it to her. The goddess took that torch and arrived at Kavasseri. This temple is believed to be at least 300 years old.

In the month of meena (March-April), the village plants 18 bamboo posts(aria Kodi maram) and the goddess is brought from the temple to this place in a procession.The people of Unnikumarathu family hold the torch before this procession,. Later a festival for seven days is celebrated. There would be a song called “Bhagawathi Pattu” sung during these seven days.

People of all castes join in the worship at this temple. There are special rights for many of the castes of this area during the festival. It is believed that once upon a time humans were sacrificed to propitiate the Goddess. Once when a young boy was about to be sacrificed he cried and entreated the Goddess to save him. The goddess threw the sword and shield in a near by well. After that the custom of sacrifice was stopped at this temple.

It is believed that this goddess is the sister of Mangottu Kavu Bhagwathi of Athi Petta. Every year she goes shuttling down to her own temple for seven days to be with her sister. This takes place in the month of Meena (March-April).

If any male child is born in any of the houses in the surrounding village, they would come and make a musical throaty sound(Kurava) facing the temple of the Goddess.