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Aikunnu Temple – Aikunnu Durga Devi Temple At Venginissery

Aikunnu Durga Devi Temple is located at Venginisseri village, near Paralam, in Thrissur district, Kerala. The shrine is one among the 108 Durga temples in Kerala. The temple is situated atop a hill. The square shaped sanctum sanctorum (chatura sreekovil) faces west.

In a small sreekovil in the south side there is a murti of Sastha.

The temple participates in the famous Arattupuzha pooram.

The temple belonged to Aikunnu Variyam. The temple is now managed by Hindu Navodhana Pratishthan.

The shrine is around 10 km from Thrissur town.

Pancha Durga Pooja

Aykunnu Durga Devi is famous for Pancha Durga Pooja. Mother Goddess is uniquely worshipped in her five aspects in this pooja. In the ritual separate poojas are  performed for each of the five aspects of Goddess – as Durga, Aaryaa, Devi, Bhagavati and as Kanyaka.

History Of Festivals And Rituals In Aikunnu Temple

In the olden days, the rights for the temple nada (entry gates) used to be held by the influential Nampoothiri households. The Eastern nada was under the control of the Poomully Mana who were the owners of the Oorakathamma Thiruvadi while the rights for the Temple and its western nada was with the Chittoor Mana.

The unhealthy competition between these manas to conduct the pooram festival, exceeded all bounds. It ultimately resulted in the blockade of nadas rightfully assigned to the Devi and Devas, thus preventing them from entering the temple for pooram.

 In one of the subsequent years, when it became apparent that the Namboothiris of Chittoor mana would obstruct the respected Oorakathamma Thiruvadi from going to the Pruvanam Kshetram for pradakshinam after the pooram, the Oorakam people accompanied by Chathukudam Sastha (whose ownership rested with the Desamangalam mana), entered the temple, performed the pradakshinam and completed the temple rituals.

The next year, anticipating that the Cherpu Bhagavathy would be blockaded from entering through the eastern nada by the people of Poomully mana (who owned that nada), the gramadevata of Peruvanam accompanied by the equally adorable Aikunnu Bhagavati  ceremoniously led the Cherpu Bhagavathy for pooram through the eastern nada. Since then the joint ceremonial procession by Cherpu Bhagavathy and Aikunnu amma and the functions in Arattupuzha, Todukulam and Mandaram kadavu, have become  a regular feature.

On the day the attam flag at Cherpu Bhagavathy temple is hoisted, the Aikunnu amma goes to that Bhagavati Temple and conducts a solemn pradakshina before returning to her Aikunnam abode for the flag hoisting function in Devi’s own temple.

It is believed that in the olden days, the village deity Thiruvullakkavu sastha, installed a flag post and hoisted the flag in the North nada of temple on behalf of Aikkunnu Pandavagiri Devi, the Peruvanam village goddess. The flag used to be hoisted by the Namboothiris of Peruvanam households. Subsequently this ritual came to be abandoned because of severe discord among the Nampoothiri households. However after the renovation and rejuvenation processes of the temple (by HNP) were completed in 1995, a permanent flag post was installed for Devi in the Pandavagiri Temple itself. This flag post is decoratively encased in gleaming brass sheath. Yet, the Pandavagiri Devi continues her practice of going formally to the Thiruvullakkavu Temple, to take  a round in circumambulation of Sastha and return.