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Madayi Kavu Temple Kannur Kerala

Madayi Kavu Temple, Kannur, Kerala

The Madayi Kavu Temple is a holy Hindu temple known as Thiruvarkkadu Bhagavathy by the people who go there. This religious building is in Madayi, Payangadi also called Madayi Kavu. It is a popular pilgrimage site because it is known as the mother temple of all Bhadrakali shrines in North Kerala. The myth says that the temple is a shrine for the Chirakkal devaswom and where the Chirakkal Royal Family worships an idol.

Temple NameMadayi Kavu Temple
Temple is also known asThiruvarkadu Bhagavathi Temple
Temple Dedicated toGoddess Kali
Temple Timing5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
AartiKali Mata Ki Aarti
Darshan FeeNo fees
VIP EntryNot available
Live DarshanNot available
Important FestivalsPooram, Kalasam, Kalasa Uthsavam
AddressMadayikavu Temple, Pazhayangadi P O, Kannur, Kerala, Pin – 670334
Contact Number+91-0497 2875834
Official Email

About Madayi Kavu Temple

Madayi Kavu, also called Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple, is a well-known Hindu temple in Kerala, India, dedicated to Kali Amma. The Kolathiri kings used to be in charge of the temple. Now, the Devaswom Board is in charge of it. The temple is in Madayi, close to Payangadi, and is a very important place of worship in the Kannur District and Kerala. The temple is also linked to Mannanpurathu Kavu (Nileshwaram), a shrine to Kali, and Vadukunnu Temple, a shrine to Shiva.

Madayi is a small town in the Kannur District of Kerala. It is blessed with a lot of natural beauty. On National Highway 17, which goes from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapura, the district of Kannur is 170 km away from Mangalore. It is where the goddess “Madayikavu Amma” was born and raised. Madayi is known for Madayikavu, the Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple, where people pray to “Madayikavu Amma.” The temple has been around for a long time, and Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi in the form of Maha Kali is the main god or Goddess worshipped there. “Madayikavu Amma,” a goddess known for blessing her followers, is worshipped as “Mother Kali,” and followers believe that if they worship this Goddess with faith, they will be safe from the enemies’ black magic and witchcraft.

The Goddess’s idol is fashioned of Concentrated Jaggery (Kadu Sarkara), and hence the Abhisheka (Ritual Bath) is administered to a temple-sanctified metal statue. The Goddess has a furious appearance, with four hands and a face resembling a firestorm. Namboodiri Brahmins are the priests who worship the metal idol. Priests of the Statute of Madayi Bhagawathi are called Moosads, Moothads, or Pidara. By nature, they are non-vegetarian Brahmins. They offer the Goddess Thanthric devotion. Once upon a time, it appeared that priests were not Brahmins, but when people could not tolerate the Goddess’s ferocity, the Brahmin religion was established. Today, the Goddess is presented with ash gourd instead of meat and fish and tender coconut water instead of toddy.

Other Famous Temples of KeralaOther Famous Temples of Maa Kali
Chettikulangara TempleTarapith Temple, West Bengal
Malliyoor Maha Ganapathy TempleShri Kalka Ji Temple, Delhi

Temple Legend

Legends say that Madayikkavilamma, once the Bhagavathy, used to live in the Taliparambha Rajarajeshwara temple. But because Madayikkavilamma didn’t eat only vegetarian food, she couldn’t stay at Rajarajeshwara temple. Madayikkavilamma told the King of that area to build her a separate temple at the time. The King built Madayikkavilamma, a new temple. So, the “Madayikavu” temple was built, as the god had asked.

In another story, a demon named Dharaka used to cause trouble for the people of Madayi. People asked Madayikavu Amma to protect them from demons by praying to her. Madayikavu Amma came to save the people from Kali, a demon taking the form of a person. She killed Kali. Then, Madayikavu Amma asked Lord Shiva to give her a place where people could always worship her. Lord Shiva told Sage Parashurama to make Madayikavu Amma’s wish come true. Sage Parashurama followed Shiva’s orders and hit the ground with his sword. The sea turned into a hill, and the hill became a “Punya Kshethara” of Mother Kali, also known as Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi.

Temple History

The temple is very old. It may have been there before the Vedas. Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi, who is Bhagavathi in the form of Kali, is the main god or Goddess worshipped here. People pray to the Bhagavathi as if she were Shiva’s daughter. There are also other gods. A shrine to Shiva is also inside the temple. The Mata Kali shrine faces west, and the Shiva shrine faces east. The Brahmin priests at the temple are called Podavar Brahmins. They are part of a sect that worships Kali and are not forbidden to eat meat. One important part of the temple is Kozhi Kalasham, where birds are killed and given to the Goddess as a sacrifice. Tipu Sultan saved the temple from being torn down (whose followers destroyed the nearby Vadukunnu Temple). A Nair warrior named Vengayil Chathukutty Nayanar saved the Madayi Kavu temple from being destroyed. The temple leaders gave him the title of Nayanar for his bravery (Sthanaperu). Even now, people at the temple have a lot of respect for the Vengayil Nayanar family. Madayi Kavu is near to Palavayal.

Temple Architecture

The Madayi Kavu temple is constructed in the typical Kerala manner. The Goddess is considered to be the Brahmin Mother, so she does not face the temple entrance gate; her sanctum is inside the shrine. The sanctum that is visible upon entering the temple is Shiva’s (also due to the tantric temple architecture Rurujith Vidhanam), while in the Annapoorneshwari Temple, it is Krishna’s shrine. Therefore, the temple is known by the name Shiva and not the name of the Goddess.

As soon as you enter the temple, you will find a Shiva temple. On top of a Peeta draped in silk is a sword called Nandakam, which represents Bhagawathi. The principal Bhagawathi temple, located a few yards south of the Shiva temple, faces west. On the left side of her shrine are the idols of the Saptha Mathrukas, who fought beside her in the battle against Dharuka. The metal idol is consecrated in front, within an enclosure.

Major Festivals

Even though there used to be four major festivals yearly at the temple, the main ones now are Pooram in the month of Meenam (March–April) and kalasam in the month of Medam. The Pooram festival lasts seven days, while the Kalasam festival is only a few hours long. People think that Kalasam, held at this temple, is the last festival of the year in Northern Kerala.

The Kalasa Uthsavam was known as the “Big Play of Kali” or “Kalioyattam.” This is still the name of the festival. The most important rituals happen in the afternoon when eight people dress up as goddesses like Kalariyil Bhagawathi, Chuzhali Bhagawathi, Someswari, Padi Kutthi, and the main Goddess Veera Chamundi. Three times, these goddess forms circle the Kalasa (Sacred pot) and worship it. The sport Kalasa Thallu is another option ( The physical fight of the Kalasa, done with bare hands.)

Fishing in a nearby river called “Kavu Pidi” is another essential ritual at this temple ( catch of the temple). People think the fish they catch are gifts from the Goddess Prasada, and they pay a lot of money for them. People believe that Kavu Pidi should be done on the first day of the month of Edavam (May or June) or the day before Kalasam.

Other Festivals at Madayi Kavu Temple

  • Kartika Sankramam
  • Chingam Onnu
  • Onam
  • Ashtami Rohini
  • Vinayaka Chaturthi
  • Navarathri
  • Durgashtami
  • Mahanavami
  • Vijayadasami
  • Deepavali
  • Mandalam Start
  • Guruvayoor Ekadasi
  • Trikkarthika
  • Mandala Pooja

Special Pooja at the Temple

  • Niramala
  • Valiya pooja
  • Shatrusamhara Pooja
  • Pushpanjali
  • Raktha Pushpanjali
  • Enna Vilakku
  • Nei Vilakku
  • Trumadhuram
  • Vella Nivedyam
  • Choroon
  • Swarnam Thali

Madayi Kavu Temple Darshan Time

The Madayi Kavu or Thiruvarkadu Bhagavathi Temple is open from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Temple Dresscode

Traditional clothing from Kerala is recommended. Men may wear Dhoti or Mundu without shirts or banyan. At the same time, women are permitted to wear saree and pavada.

Local Culture

Kannur has a rich and active political history. It has a great history of social revolutions as well.

How to Reach Temple

By Air: Kozhikode International Airport is 138 km from Sree Madayi Thiruvarkkadu Temple, and Mangalore International Airport is 126 km away.

By Train: you can get to the temple from Mangalore Railway Junction, only 152 km away.

By Road: Buses often run between Pazhayangadi and other major cities in the country.

Location Map

One comment

  1. Rajashree Pr

    Must we want to visit these temple

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