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Legend

The Valayadheeswari Temple or the more popularly known as Ammathiruvadi Temple of Urakam is the foremost of the 108 Durgaalayams (durga Temples) of Kerala. According to the Puraanaas, Kerala was reclaimed by Lord Parasurama ,the sixth avatar of Mahavishnu,from sea by throwing his parasu (axe) from Kanyakumari to Gokarna and divided this land to 64 the gramas. He realized that for the prosperity and well-being of this Bhargava Land, it was essential to have the benign blessings of Durga and identified 108 places for the temple. The locations of these temples represent the scattered body parts of Sati Devi, the consort of Lord Paramasiva, cut into pieces by Mahavishnu with his chakra to pacify Siva after the incident-filled Dakshayaga.

During the beginning of Kaliyuga when adharma was in the ascendancy,the village elders of this grama (Peruvanamgramam) met and decided to save their village from adharma. Accordingly, they duputed Valaya Bhattathiri,Kadalayil Namboodiri and Komarath Menon to Kancheepuram to bring the munificent Devi to this village. They worshipped the Devi , who was very pleased with their devotion and agreed to accompany them to this place. Accordingly, to the popular belief, Devi accompanied Valaya Bhattathiri in the olakkuda (palm leaf umbrella). Thus the palm leaf umbrella has become an integral part of all rituals of Ammathiruvadi. The Sreemoola sthanam spot of the present temple is believed to be the spot where the Bhattathiri placed his umbrella in his illam. On his return from Kancheepuram, the Devi appeared to the Bhattathiri in his dream and commanded him to construct a temple where his illam stood and proceed to the north where immense wealth would be awaiting him. Devi also told him that an idol lying in a nearby well could be used for consecration of the temple. Bhattathiri complied with the command of Devi. The descendents of Valaya Bhattathiri are none other than the famous Poomully Namboothiris of north Kerala. The idol, obtained from the well and installed in the temple is the one, it is believed, worshipped by Lord SreeRama before killing demon Ravana. Members of a nearby Menon family called Vazhappilly Tharavadu, were the strong devotees of Ammathiruvadi. Devi was very pleased with them and made a member from their family as a guard for the Devi (Kakkara Menon), whereever she go out for various rituals. Kadalayil Namboothiri built Durga temple at Kadalassery and Komarath Menon built Kali temple at Pallissery which are 4km and 1km respectively away from the temple .

Features

The first among the 108 Durgalayams of Kerala, Urakam Ammathiruvadi Temple is considered as a Mahakshetra having daily 5 Poojas and 3 Sivelis (sreebalis). There are 4 temples on all the four sides of Ammathiruadi temple where Vishnu and Siva are the main deities. Urakathammathiruvadi is considered as Goddess Lakshmi. However, devotees can also worship the Devi as Durga as well as Saraswathi and get the blessings. On the top of the Dhwaja Stambha (Kodimaram) is the statue of Lion which signifies that Devi is also worshipped as Mahishasuramardini. There are two more deities (upadevas) inside the inner courtyard, they are Lord Sastha and Lord Ganesh. It is believed that the presence of Lord Subrahmania is there in the temple. Nagaraja is there in the south east corner of the compound. It is believed that presence of Kodungallur Bhagawathy is there on the Eastern Gopuram. The Devi being a Kanyaka (Virgin), no fragrant floweres are used for the pooja. In this temple only Veda Mantras are used for the poojas. Kaartika Nakshatra in the Malayalam month of Vrischika is the birth day of Devi. On that day, there will be number of programmes including Annadaanam. Also on every Kaarthika there will be Naama japam and annadaana as offerings by the devotees.

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