Spiritual Tourism XV - Heavens on Earth - Chottanikkara Amba Temple
This is one of the most famous temples in Ernakulam District.
Legend has it that this was once a dense forest and a tribal called Kannappan used to live here. He was a devotee of the Mother Divine and he used to sacrifice an animal daily to the Goddess. He had a cute daughter who had a pet, a cow. Kannappan used to sacrifice cows also. One day Kannappan could not find an animal to sacrifice and he told his daughter that he is sacrificing her pet cow. She entreated him to sacrifice her instead of her beloved cow. Kannappan changed his mind. He was a reformed man later on. He repented for the animal sacrifices done by him. Repentance is to cease from sinning. He and the pet cow stayed near the Temple that night. Next day the cow had turned into stone and Kannppan knew that the cow was indeed the Mother Goddess ! That day the Lord Vishnu gave Kannappan a vision, forgiving his sins ! The Lord promised that he will abide in the temple forever and the concept of Lakshmi Narayana ( a combination of Purusha and Prakriti, the male and female components of the Ultimate ) came into being here !
The place where Kannappan used to sacrifice cows is of low elevation and is called Keezhe Kavu, a place devoted to the Mother Divine as Time Personified, Kali, who is Kaala Swaroopini.
The major festival of this temple is in the sidereal month of Aquarius or Kumbha. The Goddess comes out and blesses her devotees then. Makam Thozhal, or Vision of the Mother during the day when the Moon tenants the constellation of Regulus or Magha is another sacred day here.
Regulus or Magha or Alpha Leonis is a massive star and is 79 light years from the Earth. It is huge and its mass is 3.8 times the Solar Mass. The day when the Moon tenants Magha is believed to be the Birthday of Mother Divine of Chottanikkara.