Valayadheeswari Mata Mandir

The ValayadheeswariTemple or the more popularly known as Ammathiruvadi Temple of Urakam is theforemost of the 108 Durgaalayams (Mata Mandir) of Kerala. According to thePuraanaas, Kerala was reclaimed by Lord Parasurama ,the sixth avatar ofMahavishnu, from sea by throwing his parasu (axe) from Kanyakumari to Gokarnaand divided this land to 64 the gramas. He realized that for the prosperity andwell-being of this Bhargava Land, it was essential to have the benign blessingsof Durga and identified 108 places for the temple. The locations of thesetemples represent the scattered body parts of Sati Devi, the consort of LordParamasiva, cut into pieces by Mahavishnu with his chakra to pacify Siva afterthe incident-filled Dakshayaga.

During the beginningof Kaliyuga when adharma was in the ascendancy,the village elders of this grama(Peruvanamgramam) met and decided to save their village from adharma.Accordingly, they duputed Valaya Bhattathiri,Kadalayil Namboodiri and KomarathMenon to Kancheepuram to bring the munificent Devi to this village. Theyworshipped the Devi , who was very pleased with their devotion and agreed toaccompany them to this place. Accordingly, to the popular belief, Deviaccompanied Valaya Bhattathiri in the olakkuda (palm leaf umbrella). Thus thepalm leaf umbrella has become an integral part of all rituals of Ammathiruvadi.The Sreemoola sthanam spot of the present temple is believed to be the spotwhere the Bhattathiri placed his umbrella in his illam. On his return fromKancheepuram, the Devi appeared to the Bhattathiri in his dream and commandedhim to construct a temple where his illam stood and proceed to the north whereimmense wealth would be awaiting him. Devi also told him that an idol lying ina nearby well could be used for consecration of the temple. Bhattathiricomplied with the command of Devi. The descendents of Valaya Bhattathiri arenone other than the famous Poomully Namboothiris of north Kerala. The idol,obtained from the well and installed in the temple is the one, it is believed,worshipped by Lord SreeRama before killing demon Ravana. Members of a nearbyMenon family called Vazhappilly Tharavadu, were the strong devotees ofAmmathiruvadi. Devi was very pleased with them and made a member from theirfamily as a guard for the Devi (Kakkara Menon), whereever she go out forvarious rituals. Kadalayil Namboothiri built Durga temple at Kadalassery andKomarath Menon built Kali temple at Pallissery which are 4km and 1km respectivelyaway from the temple .


The first among the 108 Durgalayams of Kerala, UrakamAmmathiruvadi Temple is considered as a Mahakshetra having daily 5 Poojas and 3Sivelis (sreebalis). There are 4 temples on all the four sides of Ammathiruaditemple where Vishnu and Siva are the main deities. Urakathammathiruvadi isconsidered as Goddess Lakshmi. However, devotees can also worship the Devi asDurga as well as Saraswathi and get the blessings. On the top of the DhwajaStambha (Kodimaram) is the statue of Lion which signifies that Devi is alsoworshipped as Mahishasuramardini. There are two more deities (upadevas) insidethe inner courtyard, they are Lord Sastha and Lord Ganesh. It is believed thatthe presence of Lord Subrahmania is there in the temple. Nagaraja is there inthe south east corner of the compound. It is believed that presence ofKodungallur Bhagawathy is there on the Eastern Gopuram. The Devi being aKanyaka (Virgin), no fragrant floweres are used for the pooja. In this templeonly Veda Mantras are used for the poojas. Kaartika Nakshatra in the Malayalammonth of Vrischika is the birth day of Devi. On that day, there will be numberof programmes including Annadaanam. Also on every Kaarthika there will be Naamajapam and annadaana as offerings by the devotees.