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Vellayani Devi Temple
Vellayani Devi temple is positioned on the eastern banks of Vellayani Lake in Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram district in the state of Kerala, India. The temple is administered by the Travancore Devaswom Board. Vellayani Devi Temple is said to be build in the 14th century AD. The main attraction of this temple is its picturesque view, since it is situated on the banks of Vellayani Lake. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali, the most ferocious Goddess of all. Other sub deities of Vellyani Devi Temple include Lord Ganapathy, Lord Siva and the Nagaraja. There is a separate shrine for Madan Thampuran in the Vellayani Devi Temple.
The history says that Kelan Kulashekhara, a blacksmith, saw a frog with divine powers near the lake. He caught the frog and brought it to the Nair cheiftains of the locality. Kulashekhara, then, constructed the Thiru mudi (idol) in which the divine spirit is stored. From then on, the right to perform the rituals is held by the Nair families. The priest of the temple also belongs to the blacksmith family.
Another part of the story says that Darika, a demon who received a boon from Lord Brahma went on to conquer the world by defeating the King of gods, Indra, with his immense power. His intolerable atrocities made the divine Sage Narada to request Lord Shiva to destroy Darika. Lord Shiva opened the Third Eye and created the ferocious Kali to destroy Darika who had received a boon that he can’t be killed by any human living in any of the fourteen worlds of the Hindu Mythology. Goddess Kali was a woman who was given birth by a divine power. Kali, the most ferocious form of Lord Shiva’s third eye did not stop even after killing the demon. She went on to kill all the human beings for whom Darika was killed. No God could stop her. Kali was finally calmed down after Lord Shiva, her creator, surrendered to her.
The Vellayani Devi temple is built in the Dravidian Architectural style, a famous architectural style of South India.The temple structure has a bronze roof with traditional art works. The temple has eastern and northern towers called Gopurams with adorable statues and carvings. The temple Gopurams function as the gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex.
The temple is open from 5.30 PM to 8 PM. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays, the temple is open from 12.30 PM to 2 PM. On the first day of all the Malayalam months, the temple will be open from 5.30 AM to 8 AM.
Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam is the major festival of this temple. This is the longest non pilgrimage festival of all the festivals celebrated in India. This 50 day long festival is celebrated once in every three years. Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam literally means the festival to sumptuously feed the Goddess. This festival is very special and it attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country. The second most important festival is the Kalamkaval. During this festival, the priest carries the main idol on his head and performs a dance until he is unconscious. People believe that the Goddess gives strength to the Priest to carry the idol and dance. Other festivals of this temple include Karadikottu, Uchabali, Paranettu, Nilathilporu, Aaraattu and Pongala.
Madhu Pooja is the special pooja performed to the Goddess.
Info on the deity – Specific to the temple deity
The presiding deity of this temple is Goddess Bhadrakali. The idol is called as Thirumudi and is about 4.5 ft tall with ornaments of authentic gold and gems decked over it. The temple also houses the deities of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Nagaraja.
Vellayani is 13 km from Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest bus station is the Thiruvananthapuram Bus stand. Buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis are available almost all the time to reach the temple.
The nearest rail head is the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway station at a distance of 9 kms from the temple.
The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport at a distance of 15 kms from the temple.
Vellayani Devi Temple, Vellayani, Kerala