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Pilgrimages of Kerala - Ernakulam district
- Famous temple of Chottanikkara Devi: According to legend there lived a man called Kannappan with his young daughter Thevi. His wife had passed away and Kannappan loved his daughter dearly. However Kannappan was of cruel nature and believed in attaining prowess by performing animal sacrifice everyday. For this he used to procure cows by hook or crook which he used to sacrifice daily. People were afraid of Kannappan due to his cruel nature and the fear of losing their cows. One day he brought two cows along with a tender calf. He kept the calf in reserve to sacrifice it when required. In the meantime his daughter began to love the calf dearly. When the need came to sacrifice the calf, the daughter vehemently oppossed and told her father to sacrifice her also along with the calf. Kannappan was torn between his love for his daughter and the fear of not performing the sacrifice. His daughter further asked his father to examine whether he had earned any merit due to all his sacrifices. Kannappan was transformed from this day and he started living a sober life showering his affection on both his daughter and his calf. However as fate would have it, the daughter of Kannappan passed away one day. Kannappan was disconsolate. From that day his center of affection was the calf. The calf gradually grew up into a cow. One day he had a dream that there was a divine being by the side of the calf (which is now a cow). Next morning when he went to the cowshed he saw the cow turned into a perforated stone and there was another stone lying by its side. A saint suddenly appeared in the scene and told Kannappan that he has now become free from all his sins, because the calf on whom he bestowed his affection and nurtured was none other than Lord Vishnu and His consort Goddess Mahalakshmi who had taken abode in his shed. The saint told Kannappan to dedicate his life to the worship of Lakshmi Narayana and then disappeared. (It is believed that Kannappan was born as Vilwamangalam Swamiyar)
Many years and generations passed and the place got covered with dense forest. One day, a Pulayi girl came there to cut grass. When she sharpened the sickle on a raised stone, she found blood oozing out of it. She shrieked and appeared to be possessed by some spirits. Finally Edattu Namboodir, a pious man revealed that the stone had the presence of the Mother Goddess, and so finally the shrine of Chottanikkar Devi was built.
It is believed that the sanctum sanctorium of Chottanikkara Devi is the place of Kannappan's cottage and the moolasthanam was the place of th original cowshed.
- Chottanikkara Devi temple is located in the Ernakulam district of Kerala.
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