Mandaikadu Bhagavathy Amman Temple – Festivals
The Kodai festival at Mandaikadu is a major celebration in the region and as in Sabarimala people flock here, especially women. To accommodate the large populations special buses run between Nagercoil and nearby towns at the time, there are also chain services operated from Thiruvananthapuram. The idol here is unique and is earthy. The worship is also unique as it is not forbidden to cook and eat non-vegetarian foods, as in most other major Hindu temples, during the festival.
One can see meat being cooked during these days around the temple. This festival falls in the month of March – April of the English calendar. During the festival, the Tamilnadu Tourism Department arranges photographic exhibition and other programs. This festival draws huge crowds of around 10 lakh people. Mandaikadu Kodai Festival is celebrated on last Tuesday in the Tamil month of “Masi” every year. Festival will start ten days prior to this Tuesday.ie, Sunday with flag hoisting in flag mast of the temple.
At the time of flag hoisting, priest along with devotees will go for holy bath in the morning and will return with a pot of holy water. The holy water will be sprayed all over the temple premises and cleaned. Then only the festival will start. Throughout the 10 days every day at 8.30 pm after the poojas are over, the goddess will be taken in procession around the temple streets.
It is the sixth day festival held on Friday within the Kodai festival. Even though poojas done for all 10 days. Pooja done at 8.30 pm in this sixth day has more importance and speciality. Lot of devotees will take part in this occasion.
Odukku Pooja will be held on the tenth day night at 1am. This is the last pooja of Mandaikadu Kodai festival.
Once the Kodai festival is over, coming eighth day Tuesday will be called as Ettam Kodai. In the Ancient days, people around the nearby village peoples took part in this occasion. But nowadays people from all over district and nearby Kerala state coming in large numbers to celebrate this festival. Special bus services are operated from nearby towns for the devotee’s transportation.
In the Tamil month of Panguni, Panguni star will occur on one day and that day will be celebrated as Bharani Kodai. Peoples around the Mandaikadu area believe that goddess Mandaikadu Amman born in this day.
Apart from the above festival, Pournami (Poornima), Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays are important days in this temple.