Mullakkal Bhagavathy Temple in AlappuzhaMullakkal Bhagavathy Temple in Alappuzha has twenty foot covered area that is kept under the roofing. There are beautiful trees and fragrant jasmine plants all around the pond that is situated within the premises of the temple. A large banyan tree inside the temple provides shade to the ‘linga’ of Lord Shiva.
Mullakkal Bhagavathy Temple HistoryEarlier the reigning deity of the temple was kept in the open. It had been apparently brought by exiled soldiers. They had come from the Thekumkur region. They had worshipped the idol after installing it in a jasmine garden. Later the Chembagasery King, Devanarayana had a temple built within the very precincts of the garden story the Namboodari Brahmins who were escaping from the ravages of Tipu Sultan’s army.
The Namboodaris installed the idol of Ma Annapurneswari who held the ladle in one hand and a pot in the other. This was evidenced upto 1961. However, that very year a presumably mentally challenged person entered the temple and stood hugging it for a long time. When he had gone the priests noticed cracks on the idol’s surface. An old astrologer then gave the prediction that the idol should be replaced with that of a four-foot tall Rajarajeshwari idol. The idols of Lord Krishna and the serpent gods were also installed in separate temples within the self same temple precincts.
Festivals and Rituals of Mullakal TempleThe prasadam at the temples is quite unique and has continued down the ages till date. The prasadam is made in the form of ‘Vada’ a fried savory made after grinding the soaked whole ‘Urad’. This special and different offering is presented to the Mother Goddess or Maa at night. There are several festivals celebrated in the Mullakal Rajarajeshwari temple. The most prominent among these is the Mullakal Chirappu festivals.
It is held in the Vrishchikam month (middle dates of November) of the Malayalam calendar. The festival is celebrated for forty one days. The ending eleven days of the festival are called the Mullakal Chirappu Festival. The last two days at the culmination of the festival are the most significant.
Thousands of devotees throng to the temple to witness the splendor of the propitiation of the deity. Nine caparisoned elephants stand at the entrance after having led the procession through the day. The festival is replete with cultural programmes, feasts and much gaiety. About three to four thousand devotees feed at the temple every day. The sheer opulence and grandeur of the celebration touches the height of devotion to the Mother Goddess. A number of renowned artistes, dancers, musicians, singers and knowledgeable scholars participate in the festival.
Another part of the temples legendary mystique is the fact that the women light the lamp on the first Sunday of December and pray to the Goddess for prosperity, health and the safe keeping of their children.
Another remarkable festival of the temple is the Navaratri festival with the highlight being the distribution of clothes and gifts to about two hundred virgin girls as they are thought to be a re-incarnation of the Mother Goddess.
Temple TimingsThe temple is available for visiting on all days of the week during the timing of half past four in the morning upto half past ten in the morning itself. In the evening the timings are from five to eight at night.
How to Reach Mullakkal Bhagavathy TempleThe temple can be approached by boat, by air, by train and by road.
By air, the nearest airport to approach the temple is at Nedumbassery at Kochi which would then need a connecting road journey of approximately ninety kilometers from the airport to the temple.
The train journey has all major cities connecting to the cities and junctions to Alleppey railway station from where the temple is just five kilometers away.
The boat services include houseboats hiring services that can be sourced at Kottayam, Kollam, Kumarakom, Changanssery, Kochi and Chengannur besides other places. All these boats can ferry passengers to the temple.
The roads form a well laid out network that connect Alappuzha to most cities of Southern India. The National Highway number forty seven connects the Alleppey town to the rest of the area. There are private bus services or even auto rickshaws that ply for tourists from the Mullakal town to the temple.