The Chottanikkara (corruption of Jyotiannakkara) Temple (Malayalam: ചോറ്റാനിക്കര ക്ഷേത്രം) is a famous temple of the Hindu mother goddess Bhagawati. The temple is located near Ernakulam in the southern Indian state of Kerala and is one of the most popular temples in the state and in terms of temple architecture,this temple stands out to be an ultimate testmonial for the ancient vishwakarma sthapathis (wooden sculpture) in sculpting this temple along with Sabarimala. Bhagawati is one of the most popular deities in the area, Chottanikkara Devi is worshipped at the temple, in three different forms: as Saraswati in the morning, draped in white; as Lakshmi at noon, draped in crimson; and as Durga in the evening, decked in blue. Lord Shiva is also worshiped at the temple. People suffering from mental illnesses commonly visit the temple, as Bhagawati is thought to cure her devotees. One should not miss the ''Guruthi Pooja'' in the ''Keezhkkaavu'' temple at Chottanikkara. This is a ritual done at late evening to invoke the goddess. Earlier ''Guruthi Pooja'' was done only on Fridays. But nowadays, it is performed everyday.
''Chottanikara Makam thozhal'' is the famous religious festival temple.
Chingam - Thiruvonam is celebrated in the temple with Thiruvonam feast (annadanam) to all Pilgrims
Kanni - Navarathri aghosham is a famous festival,which attracts large number of devotees. On Vijayadasami day of the Navarathri utsavam, Vidyarambham is conducted.
Vrishchikam - The Vrishchicka Mandala mahotsavam (festival) is celebrated during the entire period of mandalam season.Daily annadanam, stage programmes, Naama japam etc. are conducted. During this month,Thrikkarthika festival comes. It is the birthday of the Goddess and the festival runs for three days, Kaarthika, Rohini and Makayiram. On these days,there is ezhunnellippu, Kazhcha siveli, stage programme, deepaalankaaram, Kaarthika vilakku, fireworks etc.There is also lakshaarchana and Vedamura abishekam for 15 days starting from January 1. On the makaravilakku day there is lakshadeepam (lighting of one lakh lamps) and fire works.
Kumbam - The annual festival of the temple comes in Kumbham. It begins with Kodiyettu (Flag hoisting ceremony) on Rohini day, lasts for 7 days and ends on Uthram star. There is Pooram ezhunnellippu with 7 Elephants in the morning and at night. The ulsavam ends with Uthram Aarattu and Valiya Guruthi (Atham Guruthy).
Medam - On the Vishu day, there will be Vishukani, Vishusadya and ezhunellippu on 3 elephants.
Karkitakam - Ramayana masam (Ramayana Month) is celebrated during this period. Daily puranam reading (Ramayanam, Bhagavatham, etc.,) daily annadanam, devotional speeches and discourse etc., is conducted - there is also illam Nira, when fresh paddy of the year is offered to God.
Tuesday and Friday are important dates for Bhagavathy temples. You can see heavy rush on these days.
The area in which the temple is situated was once a dense forest that was believed to be infested by yakshis and rakshsas. A tribesman named Kannappan used to live in this forest. He was a devout worshipper of Kali, and would ritually sacrifice a cow to her every Friday( the day of the Goddess). One day, he found a beautiful black calf near the forest. he kidnapped her and took her to his altar. Just before he sacrificed the calf, his daughter, Manimanga, stepped in and pleaded for him to stop. The man loved his daughter and thus let her keep the calf as a pet. Unfortunately, Manimanga died the next morning. However, when the tribes man looked for the calf, he found two divine stones in its place : one was Lakshmi and the other was Vishnu. After many years, the stones were forgotten. One day, a woodcutter came to the forest to cut some trees. Since his axe was blunt,he sharpened it on a nearby stone. Wonder of wonders, the stone started bleeding. After devaprasnam, it was concluded that the stones were divine. The idol at Keezhkavu didn''t come until after the temple was built. One night, a Brahmin was walking along a moonlit trail. Suddenly, he saw a beautiful woman, standing all alone. He offered to escort her home, and she agreed. However, when the Brahmin went to the Goddess''s priest, he was told that it was really a yakshi. thus, with the yakshi after him, the Brahmin ran to the temple. Just as he reached the sanctum, the yakshi transformed and rounded up on him. However, the goddess jumped out of the sanctum sanctorum as Kali and killed her. She then went to wash her self in the pond, where the Kali idol was found hundreds of years later by Vilvamangalam of Guruvayoor.
Distance to Chottanikkara Temple
Cochin Air Port - 38.K.M.
Eranakulam South Railway Station - 15.K.M.
Eranakulam North Railway Station - 17.K.M.
Eranakulam K.S.R.T.C.Bus Stand - 16.K.M.
Kaloor Private Bus Stand - 17.K.m.
Thripoonithura Railway station - 7 K.ms.