Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Temple
Karikkakom Devi Temple shines as an abode of truth in the present world, where values like truth, justice and morality are deteriorating situated seven kilometers east of Trivandrum city at Kadakampally across the Chakkai bridge on the east side of Kochuveli railway station lies the tranquil, enchanting village of Karikkakom. Surrounded all sides by the panoramic evergreen scenery rich with coconut palms and other fauna in the land of backwaters and canals rest the 'Karikkakom Chamundi Devi' temple which is one of the most ancient and renowned shrines of Kerala. In accordance with the ancient architectural principles, under the guidance and " supervision of Sree Kanipayoor " Krishnan Namboothiri the first stage of the construction of the 'Sreekovil' sub shrines 'Mukha . Mandapam' and 'Chuttu Mandapam' completed. The reinstallation of the 'Panchaloha Idol' of the Goddess followed by tantric rituals was performed on 21.03.1997 under the supervision of Bhrahmasree Rishimangalam Vasudeva Potti. Earlier the temple was opened to devotees only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. But after the reinstaliation, poojas are regularly performed from morning 5 am up to 11.30 am and in the evening from 5 pm to 8 pm.
The temple stands as a legacy of our ancient culture, where thousands of devotees come everyday to offer their prayers regardless of caste, creed and race. In the main shrine rests the Goddess and on the north side are the shrines of awesome 'Rektha Chamundi' 'Bala Chamundi' and other Sub shrines of 'Sastha', Vmayaka' and 'Yogiswaran' .
Legends- People of the older generation and the astrologers attribute over 500 years of antiquity to the temple. At the time of the King's rule this temple was a place of Justice and Truth. Here truth and justice were tested and punishments were also decided. Even today the cases which the police and the Court failed to prove are. being proved in the presence of the deity is another speciality of this famous temple. Without any barrier of caste and creed people flow from different places to seek the truth and take oaths not to commit further sins is a regular scene here. After a bath from the pool in the temple compound the plaintiff and the defendant are brought before the diety and stand before the Goddess with folded bands. Then they are made to take an Oath. Those who make the false oath will get immediate retribution. Those who get justice will submit offering before Goddess which include gold, silver, money etc. It is said that certain valuable articles stolen from the royal palace could be located on submitting offering to the diety here. As a taken of gratitude, the Maharaja conducted the 'Adakkikoda Mahotsav' for a whole year.
Rakta Chamundi Nada - On the right side of the Devi Nada is the Rakta Chamundi nada. There is no 'Vigraha' (Idol) in this 'Nada' but only a wall painting of the Devi in a 'Rowdra Bhava'. There was a ritual in the ancient times of people standing before this Shrine ofthe Devi and vowing to tell the Truth. This 'Nada' will be opened only for this particular ritual. The person concerned will have to keep 21 'Panam' or coins in the Nada and promise to tell the Truth. Those who made this promise believed that the Devi would protect them if they are truthful and punish them if they are not.
Special rituals - Bali Sadhya : This ritual takes place in the month of 'Karkitaka' on the 'Karthika' day. On this day inside the temple special poojas are performed for the Guru and Mantramoorthi. Brahmins are given food and dress. After this ceremony devotees are given Bali Sadhya. This is a very old custom of the temple, which is being followed even today. Nirayum Puthiriyum : The paddy ta,ken from the land belonging to the temple is fIrst offered to the Devi. Uthrada Taneerkuda : This is another important festival conducted during the month of Chingam on .Uthradam' day. This pooja is a very ancient and important pooja. Kodi Charthu of 'Chinga' month: This is a ritual conducted in the month of Chinga on Thiruvonam day after the 'Nirmalya Darshanam'. The devotees offer the Devi yellow dress during the festival. Vinayaka Chaturthi : Special poojas are conducted on Vinayaka Chathurthi for Lord Ganesha. On this day special prasadam 'Appam Ootu' is performed and also special 'Deeparadhana'. Karthika Vi/akku : Every year during Karthika there is Karthika Deepam and 'Karthika Thaneerkuda' ih the temple. This is a special offering of the temple. Ayilyam Ootu : The temple performs poojs for the 'Nagas' on the 'ayilyam' day in the month of Makara. This is known as 'Vallya Ayilyam'. From ancient times this pooja is performed for propitiating the Nagas and removing 'Naga Dosha' . Shasta Pratishta Dinam : Every year in the month of Makara on the Rohini day Shasta Pratishta Dinam is celebrated in the temple. Ulsava Mahamaham : On the makam day in the month of Meena, the temple festival is celebrated. Vishu Kani : On the first day of the month of 'Medom' people come here for the 'Vishukani' Darshanam. Devotees come in large numbers for the 'Vishu Kani' darshan.
The route to the temple -Those who travel via Kollam N .R. reaching Kazhakootamjunction should take the straight road via world market junction and from there take the right turn via Vazhavila to the temple. Those who take the M.C.Road should come through Kesavadaspuram via Palayam, Peta, Chaka by~pass. Those coming from Neyyattinkara, via Kizhakkekotta, Injakkal junction can reach the temple through the bye pass road. The temple can also be reached by Chakka Attuvar<\mbu road.
Devi songs - The following cassettes are available in the temple office: 1.Vol III Devi Pooja sung by Chitra K.S., 2. Karikkakom Amma Karunamayi sung by Radhika Sundarsan, 3. Bhagavathy Seva - Music and sung by Anil Gopalan, 4. Karikkakom Devi by I,<rishnan Unni & Radhika Venugopal, 5. Karikkakom Amma Pahimam - Madhu Balakrishnan, Ravishankar & Arundhanthietc. The calender of Karikkakom Devi is also available.