Madayi Kavu is the most renowned of the Bhadrakali temples in North Malabar. Historians believe that the temple is more than a thousand years old. The local people refer to it also as Thiruvarkadu Bhagavathi Temple. Bhadrakali is a popular form of Devi who is worshipped in Kerala as Bhagavati, Mahakali, Chamunda and Kariam Kali Murti. She is generally worshipped in four forms: Darukajit (the destroyer of demon Daruka), Dakshajit (the killer of Daksha), Rurujit (slayer of the demon Ruru) and as Mahishajit (the one who executed Mahishasura).
Worship in Madayi Kavu
On entering the temple, you first see the Shiva shrine which faces east. A few metres to the south of Shiva temple is the principal temple of Bhagawathi. The idol of Bhagavathi faces west.
The idol or vigraha of goddess is made of kadu sharkara. The Goddess has a fierce look and four hands. The kadu sarkara idol is not subjected to abhishekham. For performing abhishekam, there is a metal idol. The Brahmin priests at the temple are not opposed to eating chicken and fish.
According to a legend, the goddess was initially residing in Raja Rajeshwara Temple in Taliparamba. But since she had a liking for meat, devotees built a temple for her in Madayi and re-installed the idol there.
Another belief is that Lord Shiva created the goddess to kill an asura called Daruka. After his killing, Shiva consecrated Bhagavathy in Madayi.
Offerings or Vazhipadu
Regular offerings at Madayi Kavu are Pushpanjali, Raktha Pushpanjali, Thikala Pushpanjali, Sharkara Payasam, Akapooja, Gurusipooja and Karinkalasam.
One of the main offerings here is the akapooja. The usual ingredient for this pooja is chicken. So unless you specify that you want to do a without pooja, you will get a prasadam that includes chicken.
Devotees get the prasadam at around 1:30 pm, on conclusion of the poojas. Long queues are not uncommon on festival days and holidays.
The most famous festival in Madayi Kavu is Pooram. This occurs in the Malayalam month of Meenam. Pooram lasts for seven days, from Karthika to Pooram asterisms. The Pooram ends with Pooram Kuli (ceremonial bath) in the Vadakunda lake.
Kaliyattam is the Theyyam fesival at the temple. This happens in the Malayalam month of Edavam (May-June).
Gettig to Madayi Kavu
From Kannur New Bus Terminal, Madayi Kavu is 25 km (42 min). There are frequent buses to Pazhayangadi. Trains connect Pazhayangadi to all major stations in India. The temple is 1.5 km from Pazhayangadi bus stand. Nearest airport is Kannur International Airport. National Highway NH 66 passes through Taliparamba.
Madai Paara is a flat topped hillock overlooking Pazhayangadi town on the northern bank of Kuppam River. The top of the hillock is a laterite plain of 365 hectares (900 acres) in area. Many species of rare plants and flowers thrive in the laterite hills of Madayi. It is home to 670 flowering plants. This is also a great place for the study of moths and butterflies. Vadikunda Shiva Temple is located to the south west of Madayi Kavu. Adjacent to the temple s a perennial fresh water pond which is 1.5 acres in size.
Madayi Palli is on the eastern slope of the hill. It is one of the oldest mosques of India. Malk ibn Dinar built it in 1124. The ruins of Madayi Fort are close by. Madayi Sree Muchiloottu Bhagavathi Temple is 2.6 km by walk from Madayi Kavu and 3.8 km (9 min) by three-wheeler.
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