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Kadampuzha Temple, Kadampuzha

The Kadampuzha Devi Temple is a powerful temple that is located in Kadampuzha in the picturesque hilly Malappuram district in Kerala, India. The deity who is worshipped here is the Goddess Parvathi in the form of a huntress. The unique feature of the temple is that there is no idol.

Kadampuzha Temple
Kadampuzha Temple

The Story Of The Kadampuzha Temple

The legend behind this temple dates back to the Mahabharata. The story of this temple is the 3rd Parva of the epic. Arjuna left his family and sought the knowledge of the Divya Astras. He left to do penance in order to obtain the Pashupathastra from Lord Shiva who is also known as the Pashupati or the protector of all living beings. He went to the foothills of the Himalayas and started his meditation on the banks of the River Ganges. Lord Shiva was pleased with Arjuna but knew that his ego was a hindrance to his spiritual progress.

Lord Shiva and Parvathy Devi appeared before Arjuna in the form of a Kirata King and his wife. Arjuna was standing in Tapas standing on the toe of his right foot and with his hands raised in penance. A demon called Mookasur was looking for Arjuna at the behest of Duryodhana to kill him. He took the form of a boar and charged at Arjuna who was deep in meditation. Arjuna the warrior instinctively grabbed his bow and arrow and shot the boar in the mouth. At the very same time, Lord Shiva shot the boar and pierced its hindquarters. 

Arjuna's Penance Sculpture
Arjuna’s Penance Sculpture

Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy Meet Arjun

The boar changed back to an Asura and lay dying. Lord Shiva in the form of the King pretended to be very annoyed at Arjuna for having spoiled his kill. Arjuna retaliated asking how a puny arrow from him could have killed an Asura. The King kept provoking Arjuna. When he started abusing the family of Arjuna a great fight ensued. Parvathy Devi was very worried knowing that Lord Shiva was capable of great destruction. She begged the two to stop fighting but they persisted in a fierce battle. Parvathy Devi started changing the arrows of Arjuna into Thetchi flowers. Soon Lord Shiva was covered in flowers. 

Finally, Arjuna attacked the King with bare hands. But Lord Shiva very easily flung him down. At last, Arjuna realised that the person he was fighting was no ordinary mortal. He was humbled by this realisation. He shaped a small Shiv Ling and decorated it with utmost reverence using the flowers and leaves he could reach. His offerings fell at the feet of the King. Arjuna realised that he was none other than the very Lord Shiva that he was seeking. He realised what Parvathy Devi was trying to tell him. 

Arjuna was remorseful. He wept and fell at the feet of Lord Shiva begging him for forgiveness. Lord Shiva felt moved by his devotee’s devotion. Devi Parvathy also felt motherly feelings for Arjuna and showered him with boons. Lord Pasupathy granted Arjuna the Pashupathastra that he sought. 

Siva Gives Arjuna The  Pashupathastra
Siva Gives Arjuna The Pashupathastra

Ganga Water

Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy lingered on and wandered around admiring the surroundings. They rested in a beautiful green place and Devi Parvathy requested Lord Shiva for a drink of water. Lord Shiva shot an arrow into the earth to summon Ganga. Devi Parvathy was happy and requested that the place be known as her place. Devotees who come to her with a pure heart seeking boons would be granted them. She requested that Lord Shiva make his presence felt in the Stone in front of her. She was then Thwaritha Devi. This means the one who prompts the Lord to give boons easily to those who ask with humility.

Shiva and Parvathy
Shiva and Parvathy

Adi Shankara discovered this place when he was on his way to the Chottanikkara temple after darshan at the Mookambika temple. He felt blocked at the spot by a divine presence. He could only understand it after he cleansed himself of all ego. Adi Shankara consecrated the temple at the spot.

Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara

How To Get There

The nearest airport to Kadampuzha is Calicut Airport (42 km) and Cochin airport (125 km). By road, one should take the NH17 and then deviate at Vettichera and drive 2 km. The nearest towns are Valanchery (11 km), Kottakkal ( 12 km), Tirur (19 km), Malappuram (21 km), Perinthalmanna (29 km), Ponnani (35.5 km), Pattambi (33 km) and Manjeri (32 km). It is also accessible by train through the Shoranur-Calicut route. By rail, the nearest stations are Kuttippuram (17 km), Angadippuram (21 km), Shornur (48 km) and Calicut (55 km).