Chakkulathamma is famously known as the Mother who answers the call of her devotees. Countless pilgrims irrespective of caste creed and colour reach the shrine. The benevolent look of Goddess unfolds a thousand lotus flowers of real bhakthi in the minds of devotees. Chanting of Her names and mantras destroys the feelings of ignorance and pride like the flames of fire that overcomes the darkness.
The ancient history of the temple has some divine connections with the story of Sumbha and Nishumbha referred to in the Devi Mahatmyam. The story goes that two demoniac characters called Sumbha and Nishumbha derived super human powers through rigorous meditation of Lord Brahma. They received a boon that they could be killed only through a battle with woman. Such a condition being almost impossible, Sumbha and Nishumbha conquered Indra and other Devas. They became the unquestioned monarchs of the three worlds. The helpless Devas under had to flee away and take shelter in remote jungles.
Saint Narada feeling pity at the misery of the Gods approaches his father Lord Brahma. Brahma reminds Narada that ups and downs are the law of life and that was what the Gods were experiencing. There was only one way out for this despicable state of affair. Only one power could restore power and prosperity to Gods and that power was none other than the very Goddess. Devas accordingly moved in search of Goddess. Reaching near Himavan, the epic King of the mountains, they started chanting powerful mantras to appease the Goddess. They plunged into a he artful tribute of the Goddess who in herself was power, knowledge, creativity, benevolence and blessings.
Goddess Parvathy had just arrived on the banks of river Ganga. Echoes of the mantras reached her. There was a touch of grief and pleading in the sounds of Devas. Goddess Parvathy grasped the pitiable plight of Devas. There emerged another Goddess from within her as if something comes out of a cover. This was the incarnation of Goddess Durga, having taken a divine form to rescue the Devas from the hardships caused by the asuras.
The story culminates in a terrible fight between the "Goddess and Asuras under the leadership of Sumba and Nishumbha. It was an encounter unheard of ever before. Needless to specify, all the asuras were annihilated by the Goddess. The Devas got back the early powers and prosperities. Sage Narada appears in front of them and exults them about the invincibility of goddess Durga. She was the cause as well as witness for the creation, maintenance and destruction the universe, told Narada.
It is believed that the Goddess residing in Chakkulathukavu is a wholesome reaction of this all-pervading Goddess namely Durga.
Chakkulathamma is famously known as the Mother who answers the call of her devotees. Countless pilgrims irrespective of caste creed and colour reach the shrine. The benevolent look of Goddess unfolds a thousand lotus flowers of real bhakthi in the minds of devotees. Chanting of Her names and mantras destroys the feelings of ignorance and pride like the flames of fire that overcomes the darkness. Many are the miracles that we see right in front of the Goddess.
There is an eternal divinity which is the ultimate cause for the creation as well sustenance of this universe. As oil in sesame seeds, water in river beds and fire in friction sticks, this divinity defines all that we see and see not, all that we know and not know or all that we hear and hear not. The concept of Goddess which in way is a manifestation of Nature is the supreme symbol of this divinity that shapes us. The Devi at Chakkulatukavu temples is a benign example of the love and motherliness that Almighty showers upon any devotee who seats that inimitable Goddess in his heart.
Let us have a look at the temple history that dates back to almost 3000 years. This area where the temple stands now has been a fearful forest. Trees that seemed to touch the sky, serpents with hissing noises and wild animals in barbaric freedom created and atmosphere one would shudder to think. Rays of the sun failed to look through the trees. Afternoons were like midnights.
Into this forest came a hunter with the idea of collecting firewood. The hunter was not alone. He had his wife and children with him. But everything was so sudden and unexpected. The hunter saw a serpent moving towards him. Its hood was erect and its hissing noise was fearful. Not thinking too much the hunter attacked the snake with his axe.
But the snake was not hurt it only slipped into the forest. An expert in the habits of animals, the hunter knew too well that an attacked snake is dangerous if spared. So he followed it. Searching and searching and still he couldn’t spot out the snake. Finally he reached a lake. It was not much difficult to observe a ‘Chithalputtu’. (A cover of sand made by insects). And what was it that ornamented it like a golden chain? Yes, it was the very snake that he was in search of. Not a second to waste, the hunter thrust his axe again and again upon the serpent. But it was like cutting in the air. Surprisingly the serpent had disappeared.
The hunter had a touch of horror. The next second he saw that the shell upon which the snake coiled was broken. Water was oozing out f it. The hunter watched with awe and wonder. Now there was ‘Akshatham’ (paddy and rice) and ‘Darbha’ (a peculiar type of grass used for pujas). Meanwhile the wife and kids of the hunter joined him. All were spell bound at the unbelievable sight in front of them.
New surprises were to follow. There appeared in front of the hunter a hermit with an inexpressible glow of spirituality. The hermit continued to inform that the very Goddess who is in herself the Mother of the Universe has been residing with full powers inside the shell of sand. He advised the hunter to respectfully break the shell. The statue or image of Goddess was within it. This Goddess was Vanadurga whose worship was sure to shower many fold blessings.
Narada himself broke the shell and took out the statue. The hunter and his family bowed before it. Meanwhile the hermit had disappeared. The hunter brought flowers from the forest, offered garlands and prayed. That night he had a dream and it’s was in this dream that the hunter understood that the hermit was Narada.
As the sun sent down its gentle golden rays in the next morning, many had gathered near the hut of the hunter. They submitted many offerings to the Goddess. Henceforth that place turned out to be a spirituality exceptional one.
The river of time flew gently and continuously. Poojas of the temple were structured systematically. Members of the Illam (Brahmin House) namely Pattamana constructed proper temple. The idol similar to that of Sivalainga, taken out by Narada was installed in the Sanctum sanctorium with all the prescribed ceremonies and Poojas.
Pattamana Illam still stands near at the temple. Members of this family have always been especially dearer to the goddess. Damodaran Nambudiri is the Chief Priest. His childhood days vibrate with powerful reflections of the kindness and blessings of Chakkulathamma.
Everyday there was the “Therali Nyvedyam” (a special sweet preparation of rice and jaggery covered with plantain leaves). During his childhood days Damodaran Nambudiri used to ask for this Nyvedyam to his father. On days when Therali was not available the father told his son at asks the Goddess for Therali and fruits. The innocent child pleaded the Goddess to give him sweet and fruits. Who has really realized the extreme benevolence of the Goddess who in herself is the mother of all living beings! As the child was repeatedly crying for the eatables there was a sound from inside the sanctum sanctorum. Somebody seemed to mention that fruits will soon reach the temple. Wonder of Wonders! Some devotees were seen approaching the temple with basketful of fruits. So intimate was the love of Chakkulathamma to children. This love becomes renowned that parents used to visit the temple with their children. Missing children were soon regained through prayers. Diseases were wonderfully cured. Worship of Chakkulathamma sharpens the intellect of children; The Goddess was adored by all as the phenomenal “The Mother who answers”.
Many places near the temple have derived their original names from the history of the temple. For instance, the water in the historical pond of the temple had the sweetness of jaggery. ‘Chakkarkulam’ became shortened in the long run and came to be known as Chakkulam. ‘Neeru’ in Malayalam means water. Water was absorbed into the sand shell which contained the idol. So the place around the temple came to be called as ‘Neerattupuram’. ‘Puram means place and the word denotes the place which carried and contained the holy water.
The temple was renovated in 1981. The illuminating idol of Vana Durga with the holy eight hands is installed near the original idol. Lord Shiva, Sastha, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Muruka, Yakshi, Serpent Gods and Navagrahas are installed as ‘Upa Devas’.