Set in the heart of Alleppey district in Kerala, Mullakkal Temple is dedicated to the goddess Rajarajeswari, the main deity of the temple. It's a unique temple which has beautiful architecture in traditional Kerala style. The major attraction of this shrine is the main roof that kept opened and it is especially designed for Vana Devi. Other gods of this temple are, Lord Krishna, Nagas, Ayyappa, and Hanuman Ji. There is a banyan tree in the premise where the Shivling is placed.
History of the Temple
Mullakkal Temple is 500 years old and there are plenty of stories behind the origin of the temple. As per the legend, the soldiers of Thekkumkur King have brought the idols in this temple and all the idols were supposed to placed in a jasmine garden but later on a temple was constructed in this garden by Devanarayana, the king of Chembagasery. Another story says that during the invasion of Kerala by Tipu Sultan, a group of Namboodiri Brahmins got away from the Malabar reign and took the auspicious idol of Maa Annapurneswari along with them. Then the group found Jasmine garden and they decided to make the temple here. Before 1961, the idol of Mata Annapurneswari was placed on the main shrine. Later when the idol was placed in a Jasmine Garden it was given the name Mullakkal Bhagawthy. It is believed that a mentally challenged person entered the sanctum sanctorum and hugged the idol. After that some cracks were observed on the body of the idol. Later in the year 1962, Rajarajeswari idol was made on the shrine which was replaced with the old idol as it was damaged.
Architecture of the Temple
This Mullukkal Rajarajeswari Temple is designed in ancient Kerala architectural style. It has a well-maintained wall and a beautiful pond along with a plenty of trees and jasmine plants inside the premises. The idol of the temple Durga Maa is placed with four arms, well known as 'Mullakkal Devi' or 'Mullakkal Amma'. At present, Travancore Devaswom board of Kerala is running the temple. It has an open roof and at the entrance point around 20 feet area is kept under roofing. According to the old tradition, elephants are kept in this roofed place that brings the 'thidambu' of the goddess on special affairs.
There are two main festivals of this temple that include:
Navarathiri Festival- It's a nine days celebration that last two days of the festival is known as Vijayadhashmi and Mahanavmi. The last two days are celebrated in a grand way with bewitching parade of nine decorated elephants. On the top of it, many cultural events like Ottanthullal are also held during this festival.
Thaipooya Kavadi Festival- It's another popular festival celebrated once in a year in which fifteen Kavadisn take part in the parade.
Other festivals celebrated here is Mullakkal Chirappu in which a large number of tourists flock this temple during this festival.