Mandaikadu Bhagavathy Amman Temple – Legends
Sabarimala for Women:
Mandaikadu Bhagavathy Amman Temple is known as a Sabarimala for Women. The 15 feet tall anthill is the Bhagavathy Amman. Women visit the temple with the Irumudi (a bundle containing puja items for the Goddess) as men go to Sabarimala.
Shankaracharya attained Samadhi here:
His Holiness Sri Shankaracharya was performing Srichakra Puja with his Kerala disciples here. One day the Chakra did not turn back after the puja was over as usual. The Acharya stayed here itself and attained Samadhi. It is on this spot where the Srichakra existed, the anthill began to grow. It is believed that this idol is increasing in size by every year. Children playing this side and hitting the anthill were injured. Marthanda Varma, the king of Kerala came to know of these developments and built a temple and performed pujas regularly. Gradually, the temple assumed significance among the devotees. Today is a famous temple blessing the devotees.
Growth of Sand Hill:
Few boys who were playing with a palm fruit dropped it inadvertently on the hill. Immediately blood began to ooze from the hill. Scared by this turn of events the children ran to bring the elders to the spot. The elders believed that this was Bhagavathy who was guarding the area and began lighting a lamp daily at the temple. Soon one day there was an incident. A few people were entering the village at midnight. Knocking at the doors of the villagers, they asked them to provide them some food as they were very hungry. The villagers however, were not very hospitable and directed them to the temple nearby to find their own food.
Dusk was fast approaching and the village was on the fringes of a dense jungle on the coast. So, the people were scared. Still they went to the temple and said “Mother please give us some food.” Miraculously they heard a voice that said “go take a bath and return, you will get food.” They dutifully did what they were told and Bhagavathy is said to have fed them herself. After a sumptuous meal, they slept in the temple premises. The next morning when they woke up they had a vision of the goddess smiling benevolently at them. Immediately, they left several valuables they had brought with them in a sack and left. Meanwhile the King of Travancore had a vision of Bhagavathy in his dream. She told him to build a temple for her with the money left by the travelers.
Next day the king visited the place which had appeared in his dreams and fulfilled the wishes of the goddess. However, as he began construction of the temple, the sand hill continued growing in size. They had to demolish the temple twice because of its gaining height. So, the king implored the goddess not to grow in height. But the goddess said that it would not be possible. However, she said that she would grow only the size of a grain each year. It is believed that to this day the sand hill is growing in height each year.
Folklore of Velu Thampi:
There is a folk history that Velu Thampi, a minister of Travancore, took over the temple from a local Nayar Tharavadu at Colachel, after a tussle, and the then Karanavar cursed him and killed himself, later Velu Thampi himself driven to the same fate after his fights with the British. The takeover of Hindu temples by the state ensued during the British times in Travancore later.