By Smitakshi Guha
Located in the Malappuram district in the south Indian state of Kerala, the Thirumandhankunnu Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrim spot that happens to be one of the ancient and most prominent mahakshetras in the entire state of Kerala. The temple stands concretely on a hill top, surrounded by nature’s scenic beauty and is one of the most popular Bhadrakali shrines in the entire country. Ardent devotees find utmost peace visiting the place, for its religious significances as well as the profound solitude that they enjoy here, thanks to the beautiful and serene ambiance.
Coming to the origination of the place, long ago, the ruler of the Surya Dynasty, King Mandhatha, after his reign of ruling the country for a long period, gave the power to rule to his successors and went on to have a life of solitude and meditation for Lord Shiva. The lord was so pleased with his devotion and penance that he appeared before the king and told him that he could get any boon from the lord himself. The king asked for only one thing that was an idol that he could worship till he took his last breath on earth. Shiva was once again touched by the gesture and being elated, gifted him the most prominent and valuable Shivalingam from Kailash, which used to be very dear to his wife Parvathy, as she would worship the Shivalingam daily.
When Mandhatha carried the Shivalingam on his head and proceeded towards a downward journey from Kailash, he reached the hilly area of Thirumandhamkunnu and there from the north slope, he witnessed a beautiful, crystal clear spring flowing, nature singing its most wonderful melody, birds chirping with their sweet voices, wild animals like lions, tigers, etc coming together and rejoicing life, much against their conventional animosity. Right then, the king felt the heavy burden of the Shivalingam on his head due to its weight and placed it on the ground, and instantly, the Shivalingam got planted there and wouldn’t come out.
When Goddess Parvathy had come to know that Shiva gave away her most dearest idol to a devotee, she made up her mind to fetch it, to which the lord only said that he wouldn’t intervene if she did want to do so. She did go for attaining the idol back along with Bhadrakali and an army of bhoothas, but couldn’t succeed in her mission. In the end, she told Mandhatha that since the idol is so significant to him, she won’t ask for it back, but since it is very dear to her as well, she wants to stay within the idol along with Bhadrakali, and so it happened.
Featured Image Source: keralatourism.org