Cherthala Kathyayani devi temple :

God and Godess :

  • Sri Kathyayani devi
  • Lord Ganapaathy,
  • Lord Dharma sastha
  • Lord vinayaka
  • Nagas

Location :

Cherthala Sri Katyayani Devi Temple,
Kodathikavala, Cherthala Town,
Alappuzha district – 688524

Timings :

  • Morning – 05:30AM to 11:00AM
  • Evening – 5PM to 8PM

Temple History :

Sri Kathyayanai Ammavaru temple at Cherthala is the most historical and powerful temple in Kerala. Goddess Shakthi is the principle deity in this temple and giving darshan as Sri Kathyayani Ammavaru. The temple has a great historical background and was build Thousands of years ago. Sri Kathyayani Amman temple at Cherthana is one among the 108 Devi temples of Erstwhile Kerala.

History: There is a legend about the Sri Katyayani Amman temple. Shivaguru, the father of Adi Sankara, worshiped Shri Karthyayani Devi for a long time. One day, when he was unable to come to the temple for his daily worship, Aryamba, the mother of Jagadguru Shri Adi Sankaracharya, sent little Sankaracharya to the temple of Sri Katyayani Ammavaru to offer milk. When Shri Sankaracharya reached the temple, it was closed and could not perform the offering. Then Little Sankaracharya started crying with disappointment. At that time, a divine light appeared from sanctum sanctorum(Garbhalaya) and the milk in his offering vessel was drained. The little Sankaracharya was happy that Shri Karthyayani Devi accepted his offering, but he again sobbed because a portion of the milk he used to take back home as prasadam was not there. Then Devi Katyayani appeared before Shankaracharya, consoled him and filled the vessel with milk as prasadam.

Mythology: There is a story about Sri Katyayani Devi temple. Once Sri Vilwamangalam Swamiyar was returning to Guruvayur after consecrating the Ananthapadmanabha temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Vilwamangalam Swamiyar reached the present Cherthala and was taking rest below a Chambaka tree. Swamiyar noticed several swans swimming in the ponds in that place. Suddenly he saw a divine lady swinging in a swing, tied to the Chambaka tree. He recognized her as Goddess Karthyayani and approached her when she jumped into a nearby pond. Though Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar searched for her in the pond, he could not locate her. The next day also Swamiyar saw Goddess in the same place and this time she jumped into a second pond. This continued for six days. On the seventh day, the Swamiyar managed to catch hold of goddess hair and pulled her up, before she could submerge. He could only pull her head(Tala) up, exposing her neck. Also, several hairs which he was holding got uprooted. The seventh tank was full of slushy mud called ‘Cher’ in the Malayalam Language. Because of this incident, the place was called Cherthala. (This being a great center for coir manufacture was also called Shertala by the British).

The present idol of Sri Katyayani Devi has only the head visible. We can see the holes from which hairs have been pulled out. So after Abhisheka, the head part of the idol, is mapped using a cloth. Also while doing flower offerings to the Goddess, these parts are covered with a cloth. It seems the Swamiyar got angry with her because he was not able to catch her. So, commemorating the event, in the month of Edavam (May-June), the devotees playfully abuse the goddess during a pooram festival. There is also separate shrines for Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The devotee’s hand over cocks as an offering to the goddess Karthyayani. So we can find several cocks at this temple. Near the sanctum sanctorum of the goddess, there are separate shrines for Ganapathy and Lord Dharma Sastha also. Just outside the temple, is the place where Vilwamangalam Swamiyar is said to have found her in a swing.

It seems once a Gandharva was giving a lot of trouble to the people around this temple. So the goddess requested Shasta to teach the Gandharva a lesson. Lord Sastha went outside and killed the Gandharva. When he was returning to the temple, the Goddess asked him to stay outside itself, so that he can protect the people. A separate temple was built there for Sastha. The Sastha in this temple is called Kavu Udayon (he who has the job of security or him who has a Kavu). Sastha here holds a mace in his hand. People who are in fear or are attacked by evil spirits make a maze of wood, color it and give it as an offering to Kavu Udayon. There are two very special and peculiar prasadam offerings at this temple. They are called Iratti and Thadi.

Festivals :

  • Kodungaloor pooram¬†
  • Trikarthika
  • Maha shivaratri
  • Vaikunta Ekadasi
  • Pongal
  • Navaratri

Ticket price for rituals, darshanams & special sevas :

  • kozhi ambalam
  • Archana
  • Rakta Pushpanjali
  • ¬†Pushpanjali
  • Muzhukappu(adorning the deity with sandalwood paste)

Nearest Temples Around Cherthala Kathyayani devi temple :

  • Kanichukulangara Bhagavathi temple – Alappuzha district – 9.00 km
  • Thuravur Sri Narasimha and Sudarshana Temple – Alappuzha district – 11.00 km
  • Vaikom Mahadeva temple – Kottayam district – 20.00 km
  • Mullakkal Rajarajeswari Temple – Alappuzha district – 23.00 km
  • Iravimangalam Sri Suryadeva Temple – Kottayam district – 25.00 km
  • Ettumanur Mahadeva temple – Kottayam district – 30.00 km
  • Palluruthy Sri Dhanwanthari Temple – Ernakulam district – 31.00 km
  • Mamala Bhagavathi Temple – Ernakulam district – 38.00 km
  • Udayamperoor Ameda Temple – Ernakulam district – 41.00 km
  • Edappally Mahaganapathi temple – Ernakulam district – 41.00 km
  • Chottanikkara Sri Bhagavathi Temple – Ernakulam district – 41.00 km
  • Haripad Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple – Alappuzha district – 52.00 km
  • Haripad Sri Subramanya Temple – Alappuzha district – 53.00 km
  • Thrikkunnapuzha Kurichikkal Mahadevi temple – Alappuzha district – 54.00 km
  • Paravoor Dakshina Mookambika Temple – Ernakulam district – 57.00 km
  • Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple – Alappuzha district – 61.00 km
  • Aluva Thiruviranikkulam mahadeva temple – Ernakulam district – 61.00 km
  • Chirakkadavu Mahadeva temple – Kottayam district – 64.00 km
  • Chettikulangara Sri Bhagavathi Temple – Alappuzha district – 66.00 km
  • Chengannur Mahadeva temple – Alappuzha district – 67.00 km
  • Chelamattom Sri Krishna Temple – Ernakulam district – 67.00 km
  • Anicadu Thiruvumplavi Mahadeva temple – Ernakulam district – 67.00 km
  • Varanad Devi Jagadambika temple – Alappuzha district – 69.00 km
  • Kaladi Srikrishna Temple – Ernakulam district – 69.00 km
  • Thottuva Dhanvanthari Moorthi temple – Ernakulam district – 71.00 km
  • Krishnapuram Kurakkavu Bhagavathi temple – Alappuzha district – 72.00 km
  • Ochira Oachira ParaBrahma Temple – Kollam district – 72.00 km
  • Manjapra Karppillikavu mahadeva temple – Ernakulam district – 72.00 km
  • Methala Kallil Bhagavathi Temple – Ernakulam district – 74.00 km
  • Erumeli Sri Dharmasastha and Petta Sasthavu Temples – Kottayam district – 78.00 km
  • Nooranad Padanilam Parabrahma Temple – Alappuzha district – 81.00 km
  • Sasthamcotta Sri DharmasasthaTemple – Kollam district – 92.00 km
  • Kollam Ammachiveedu Moorthy Temple – Kollam district – 102.00 km
  • Kottarakkara Mahaganapathi Temple – Kollam district – 112.00 km
  • Achankovil Sri Dharmasastha temple – Kollam district – 137.00 km
  • Punnapra Aravukad Sreedevi temple – Alappuzha district – 156.00 km

Nearest Bus Stations :

  • Cherthala – 0.40 km
  • Vaikom – 21.00 km
  • Alappuzha – 23.00 km

Nearest Railwaystations :

  • Cherthala – 2.00 km
  • Tiruvizha – 6.00 km
  • Alappuzha – 24.00 km

Nearest Airports :

  • Cochin International Airport,Cochin/kochi – 62.00 km
  • Trivandrum International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram. – 170.00 km
  • Madurai Airport,Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. – 283.00 km
  • Kannur International Airport, Kannur. – 302.00 km
  • Tiruchirapally International Airport, Trichy – 375.00 km

Photos of the temple :