Karthyayani Devi Temple, Cherthala, Kerala

Karthyayani Devi Temple, Cherthala, Kerala
Karthyayani Devi Temple, Cherthala, Kerala By Vanischenu - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Karthyayani Devi Temple is a renowned Hindu temple located in Cherthala, a town in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Karthyayani, who is considered a form of Goddess Durga or Goddess Bhagavathy. Steeped in cultural, religious, and historical significance within the region, this temple holds a special place in the hearts of devotees, offering a transformative spiritual experience through its revered deities and vibrant festivals in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India.

Legends and Devotion

The temple’s history is steeped in legend. It is widely believed that the revered Indian Saint Vilwamangalam Swamiyar played a pivotal role in consecrating the Devi idol at this sacred site. The legend goes that as he journeyed back after consecrating the ‘Padmanabha Swamy’ at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, he encountered the divine presence of Devi at this very location. The consecration of the deity ‘Cherthala Karthyayani Devi’ marked the beginning of her worship here. She is lovingly addressed as ‘Mangalya Dayini,’ symbolizing her role in bestowing welfare, prosperity, and removing obstacles, particularly those related to the marriage of young girls.

The Divine Pantheon

The temple’s main deity is Karthyayani Devi, while the sub-deity ‘Dharma Sastha’ or Ayyappan also holds a significant place in the temple’s spiritual landscape. The presence of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna further enriches the religious experience for devotees.

A Tapestry of Offerings

Devotees express their devotion through a variety of offerings. Archana, Rakta Pushpanjali (offering of flowers), Swayamvara Pushpanjali, and Muzhukappu (adorning the deity with sandalwood paste) are some of the ways people pay their respects to Devi. For Lord Sastha, ‘Neerajanam’ and a unique offering known as ‘Aalthadi’ are performed. ‘Aalthadi’ holds a special place in the hearts of the faithful, who offer it with the hope of relief from physical ailments. Another cherished tradition is ‘Thalappoli,’ where women carry oil lamps on flower-decorated plates during Devi’s processions.

Festivals and Celebrations:

The temple comes alive during festivals. The ‘Aarattu’ ritual, typically held once a year in many Kerala temples, takes on a unique frequency at the Cherthala Karthyayani Temple. Here, ‘Aarattu’ is observed twice daily during the annual festival, creating a truly festive atmosphere. The celebration of Karthika Star day in the Malayalam month of Vrichikam adds another layer of vibrancy to the temple’s festive calendar.

Temple timings:

The temple welcomes visitors every day of the week, with its doors open from 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM. However, it’s important to note that timings may vary on special days and during festivals.

How to reach:

If you’re planning a visit to the Karthyayani Devi Temple in Cherthala, Kerala, you have several transportation options to consider:

By Air:

The nearest major airport to the Karthyayani Devi Temple is the Cochin International Airport (COK), which is located approximately 101 kilometers away.

By Rail:

The Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station is the nearest railway station to the temple. It is situated around 121 kilometers away.

By Road:

Cherthala is well connected by road to other major cities and towns in Kerala. You can opt to drive your own vehicle or hire a taxi to travel to the Karthyayani Devi Temple. Alternatively, Kerala’s public bus services provide an economical way to reach the temple. If you’re traveling from distant locations, you can consider using intercity bus services or hiring a private vehicle for a more comfortable journey.


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