The Manakkattu Devi Temple is a revered Hindu shrine located in Pallippad, within the Karthikappalli taluk of Alappuzha district in the southern Indian state of Kerala. This ancient temple holds great significance among devotees and visitors alike, drawing them to its sacred premises to pay homage to the presiding deity, Goddess Bhuvaneswari. With its rich history, unique rituals, and vibrant festivals, the Manakkattu Devi Temple stands as a testament to Kerala’s rich cultural and religious heritage.
The history of the Manakkattu Devi Temple is steeped in legend and tradition. The temple’s roots trace back to a time when the region was part of the Khandava forest. According to local lore, during this period, a farmer woman discovered a remarkable stone while sharpening her knife. To her astonishment, the stone oozed blood. Recognizing the sacred nature of this stone, it was later consecrated as an idol of Goddess Bhuvaneswari. The temple’s beginnings are closely intertwined with the mythological past, making it a place of profound spiritual significance.
Deity and Worship:
Goddess Bhuvaneswari is the principal deity of the Manakkattu Devi Temple. Devotees from near and far flock to the temple to seek the blessings of the Goddess, who is venerated as a manifestation of divine feminine energy and cosmic power. The temple’s rituals are distinctive, with daily pujas dedicated to Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswathi, reminiscent of the revered Mookambika Devi temple. Devotees offer various prasadams, including Kadumpayasam and Therali, as tokens of their devotion.
A notable figure in the temple’s lore is Valyachan, also known as Sree Kunjekutty Pilla. He played a pivotal role as the army chief of Dharma Raja Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma and contributed significantly to the victory over Tippu Sultan. Valyachan’s devotion to Manakkattu Amma, the temple’s presiding deity, is legendary. After his military service, Valyachan dedicated his life to serving Manakkattu Amma, and it is believed that he attained moksha during his later years. Valyachan’s story adds to the spiritual tapestry of the temple, underscoring the profound faith of its devotees.
The Manakkattu Devi Temple comes alive during its numerous festivals, each steeped in tradition and fervor. Some of the important festivals celebrated at the temple include:
– Prathishta Varshikam
– Kodiyettu Utsavam
Among these, the Parayeduupu festival is especially significant, featuring a grand procession of the Goddess. It typically occurs during the Malayalam month of Makaram, drawing devotees and tourists alike to witness the vibrant celebrations.
The Manakkattu Devi Temple warmly welcomes devotees and visitors during the following timings:
– Morning: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
– Evening: 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
How to Reach Manakkattu Devi Temple:
If you’re arriving by air, the nearest airport to the Manakkattu Devi Temple is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. This airport is located at a distance of approximately 115 kilometers from the temple. After landing at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, travelers can avail of various transportation options, including taxis and buses, to reach Pallippad and visit the revered Manakkattu Devi Temple.
For those traveling by train, the nearest railhead to the Manakkattu Devi Temple is the Kayamkulam Railway Station. This railway station is situated at a distance of approximately 14 kilometers from the temple.
Pallippad, where the Manakkattu Devi Temple is located, is well-connected by road. Visitors can reach Pallippad, which is approximately 7 kilometers from Karipuzha, using various modes of road transportation. Buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws are readily available, making it convenient for devotees and travelers to access the temple.
These timings provide ample opportunities for devotees to offer their prayers and experience the spiritual ambiance of the temple throughout the day.