Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple is one of the famous tourist attractions of Kerala which was established by Lord Parashuram. Located at Mavelikara in Alleppey district, the temple dates back to over 1200 years. Dedicated to Bhadrakali or Bhagavathy or Jagadambika, the temple is sprawled over 13 God chosen (Karas) territories. It is at the centre of the first four Karas namely Erezha South, Erezha North, Kaitha South and Kaitha North. In this temple, you can see the Goddess Bhagavathy in three forms- Saraswathi Devi in the morning, Lakshmi Devi in the Afternoon and Bhadrakali Devi or Maa Durga in the evening.
The temple is now under the control of the Travancore Devaswom Board which is ranked as first in terms of income, having the highest revenue earner and Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple stands second in terms of income. There are a number of sub-deities next to the temple and a number of Prathishtas have been restored or added in respect to the Deva Prashnam by practiced astrologers.
The legend says when few local chieftains went to watch the annual festivities at the Koypallikarazhma Bhagvati Temple and they were guyed by the authorities of the Koyapallikarazhma temple. Hence, they thought to build a temple at Chettikulangara. Then the Karanavars decided to take it as their duty and perform Bhajan for 12 days and get the blessings of Goddess, Kodungallur Bhagavathy. It is said that Devi gave them 'Swapna Darshanam and next day they returned to Chettikulangara with a holy sword which was given by the Velichappadu of Kodungalur temple. Another legend says that this temple was vowed by Padmapadacharya (a leading disciple of Adi Shankaracharya) on the Uthrittathi day of Makara month in 823.
There are several Upadevathas or sub-deities next to the temple which include:
A small temple for Moolasthanam is also here.
The other aspect of Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple is a massive oil lamp which is known as Kuthuvilakku. This lamp is made up of granite and thousands wicks. The temple is far-famed for its festivals that involve music of the drums, vibrant colours and unique traditional dance.
There are huge celebrations that take place in the months of February and March. The first is Bharani which takes place during these months and entire temple and grand feasts come alive during this fete. The second is Kumbham festival which is celebrated with gaiety and éclat. A large number of tourists throng this place during this festival as it is widely popular as the Kumbha Mela of South. Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha are two famous dances of this festival in which Kuthiyottam is performed as an offering to the god and in Kettukazhcha dance it shows graved and decked forms of six temple cars named as 'Kutiras' and five Therus with the icons of Hanuman and Bhima. Other festivals which are held during February and March are Ethirelpu Ulsavam and Aswathy Ulsavam.
So, if you are holidaying in Alleppey or Alappuzha, you must keep this holy place in your bucket list.