An Overview of the Sree Bhadrakali Devaswom Temple
The location of Sree Bhadrakali temple is at Kollemcode, which is a panchayat town in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is surrounded by the beautiful village of Kollemcode that is situated almost thirty kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram. The strategic location of this holy place is approximately at sixty-five kilometers from Kanyakumari district, on the National Highway forty-seven. The builder of the temple is obscure.
The temple’s spiritual significance
This renowned holy place essentially comprises of two temples in the honor of Sree Bhadrakali. One is the sree bhadrakali devaswom temple kollemcode while the other temple is located at Venkanji. Bhadrakali is a notable Hindu Goddess of Southern India. She is said to be one of the fierce forms of Devi or the Great Goddess. She is also known in Tamil Nadu as Kariam Kali Murti Devi. According to Hindu mythological texts, Goddess Kali or Mahamaya Kali was supposedly a Hindu deity who protects people from every evil and harm. Goddess Kali was later assimilated into the Hindu pantheon that pertains to Shaiva mythology.
The reigning deity
The presiding deities of this sacrosanct place are Bhadra and Rudra. These Goddesses are known to be sisters with Bhadra being the elder and Rudra being the younger sister. In Sanskrit terminology, Bhadra signifies good. Here, the letter Bha denotes Maya or delusion in Devanagari. While the letter Dra stands for superlative that means the greatest. Bhadra fundamentally means Mahamaya. The term of Bhadrakali can be then translated into Mahamaya Kali in the Hindi language. Bhadrakali can also be termed in Tantric etymology as Mahakali or Kali.
Describing the idol
This popular temple at Kollemcode enshrines Goddess Bhadrakali as the reigning or presiding deity. Her statue is situated towards the Northern direction or Vadakke Nada. In local language, this idol is called as Thirumudi. Bhadrakali is known to be a resourceful Goddess and endows blessings to her followers. Devi Kali is represented as having three eyes. Certain idols can comprise of four, twelve and even eighteen hands. The worship of this Goddess is said to be associated with Tantrik traditions.
Other significant shrines
Brahmin priests carry out rituals of the presiding goddesses. However, several other deities are worshiped in this temple, as well. Priests perform the sree bhadrakali devaswom temple aarti along with conducting other rituals in honors of Lord Ganapathy and Shiva. Worshippers also pay homage and perform special pujas for Lord Bhramarakshasu and Nagaraja.
Following specific rituals
Brahmin priests perform pujas for the deities and sub-deities. An interesting aspect is that devotees from all over the country come to this temple for seeking the blessings of Goddess Kali. This holy place accepts all human beings, irrespective of their caste, gender, creed, and color. The sree bhadrakali devaswom temple timing is five a.m. to twelve noon, and it opens in the evening at five p.m. till eight p.m. The main offerings comprise of Bharani Puja, Thulabharam, Chuttuvilakku, and Kunjoonu. Other essential rites are Ganapathy Homam, Udayasthamaya Puja, Thalpoli, Pidippanam, and Pongala. Priests also conduct Kuthiyottam, Vidyarambham, Archana along with the sacred ritual of Kumkumabhishekam.
Celebrating special events
One of the most renowned occasion is the Meena Bharani festival. It is performed during the months of March and April. It falls under the month of Meenam that is known as the Malayalam month. The Meena Bharani Thookam Mahotsav lasts for almost ten days. The sacred and prominent offering of Thookam takes place during this festival’s last day. This auspicious day is dedicated to the native Supreme Mother, Kollemkotamma. The highlight of this event is the sublime offering by devotees, especially young married couples to Goddess Bhadrakali. It said that Devi will grant their wishes and keep their children safe from harms.
Another notable event is the Pongala festival where women provide offerings to the Devi. It is a popular festival in the districts of Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram. The Thookam festival is celebrated with great joy and grandiose. An essential attribute of this occasion is the hoisting of the temple flag along with performing of sree bhadrakali devaswom temple aarti.
Place of pilgrimage
Apart from the festivals mentioned above, people flock to the Kanyakumari district for witnessing other events, as well. Most prominent of such events are Mathamudyam. Here, Pongala offerings are given to the goddess on the day of Pathamudayam during the Malayalam month of Medam. It is an essential pilgrimage center for worshippers of Goddess Kali, who is the embodiment of Shakti.