Vellayani Devi Temple
Vellayani Devi Temple is a popular devotional centre in Trivandrum, situated about nine kilometers away from Trivandrum Railway Station. Vellayani Devi Temple is said to be build in the 14th century AD. The main attraction of this temple is its picturesque view, since it is situated on the banks of Vellayani Lake. Goddess Kali is the major deity worshipped here. Other sub deities of Vellyani Devi Temple include Lord Ganapathy, Lord Siva and the Nagaraja. There is a separate shrine for Madan Thampuran in the Temple.
Vellayani Devi Temple is famous for celebrating the lengthy festival lasting for 50 days, which is a record in South India. The name of this festival is Kaliyoottu Mahothsavam, means the festival of feeding the Goddess Kali. People from different places visit this temple for workshipping their favourite Goddess during Kaliyoottu Mahothsavam.
This old shrine is situated on the banks of the beautiful Vellayani Lake. It is one of the most famous and historic temples in Kerala. The main deity for worship is Devi, in her form as Goddess Kali. (It is important for western tourists to note that this confirms the Hindu ideology that God exists in different forms and that the underlying spark of life is one and the same. The tourists should recognize that such an ideology has enabled Hindus to accept other religions and sects).
The temple has a big idol known in the local Malayalam language as Thirumudi. This idol is four and a half feet in height as well as width. The idol is Bhadrakali, supposed to have incarnated as the daughter of Lord Shiva. Pure gold ornaments and several precious stones decorate the frontal view of this impressive and large idol.
The Vellayani Devi temple is also noteworthy because it has no inhibitions against other religions and allows Christians, Muslims, and Jews etc also to enter and worship here. This is a good holiday spot for visitors interested in places which are off the beaten track.
Location : Vellayani Devi Temple, Kalliyur, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
Gods : Goddess Bhadrakali, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Shiva, Nagaraja
Landmark : Nearest Airport : Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (15 km) Nearest Railway Station : Thiruvananthapuram Railway Station, about 9 Kms. Nearest Bus Station : Thiruvananthapuram
The Vellayani Devi Temple Pongala Festival attrats thousands of devotees from in and around Trivandrum, Kerala.
Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam at Vellayani Devi Temple is the major festival celebrated here, once in 3 years. Vellayani Devi Temple Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam is renowned for being the longest non pilgrimage festival of South India, celebrated for 50 days.
The main festival is ‘Kaliyoottu Mahotsavam'.This is the longest (50 days) non pilgrimage festival any where in India. It is held once in 3 years. The literal meaning is "the festival to sumptuously feed the Devi”; in all her resplendent power and glory. During this occasion of the tri-annual festival, thousands of people from all over the State visit the temple to offer their prayers and respects to the deity.
The second most important festival at Vellayani is called 'Kalamkaval'.In this ritual, the chief priest, not necessarily a Brahmin, carries the main idol on his head and performs some trance like dances until he is unconscious. Local people believe that the priest gets strength to carry on the trance with the idol on his head, due to the blessings of the Devi enshrined in the temple.