Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple in Idukki Periyar Tiger Reserve Forest


In this article, I will talk about Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple, a historical place located on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in the Idukki district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Kannagi who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Bhadrakali in Kerala.

Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple, also known as Mangala Devi Temple, is a historical place located on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Thekkady, Idukki district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Kannagi, a noble woman who was considered synonymous with strength and conviction. She is considered a goddess in many parts of South India. She is also considered an incarnation of Goddess Bhadrakali in Kerala. Kodungallur Bhagavathy temple and Attukal Devi temple in Kerala are also based on the legend of Kannagi.

It is said that this temple was built more than 2000 years ago. This temple is situated amidst the dense Periyar Tiger Reserve and is one of the unique temples of South India. It is situated at an altitude of 4,386 feet above sea level. People visit the temple not only to seek blessings from the deity but also to experience the surrounding forest.

legend behind the temple

Every temple has its own story. It is said that Kannagi burnt the entire city of Madurai in anger when her husband (a merchant) was falsely accused of theft by King Nedunchezhiyan and executed. Then, it is believed that Kannagi walked for 14 days to reach Kumily in Kerala, where the temple is now located, and from there on the Pushpak Vimana reached heaven with her husband Kovalan. Inspired by this story, King Chera Chenguttavan built a temple for unwavering love and determination. According to the story, Chenguttavan brought stones from the Himalayas to build the temple. The story of Kannagi was, later, narrated by the king to a Tamil poet, Ilango Adigar. The poet later wrote a book based on the story of Kannaki and Kovalan in the form of ‘Silapathikaram’ (The Story of an Payal).

Statue of Kannagi and Kovalan

The temple is built in the Pandian architectural style. The walls of the temple and the stairs leading to the sanctum are made of stone. Apart from Kannaki, other idols worshiped here include Karuppuswamy, Lord Shiva Ganesha.

Mangala Devi Temple is not open throughout the year. It remains open for devotees during the Chitrapoornami festival that takes place in April-May. One day a year. The festival is organized by the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. During the festival the goddess is decorated with garlands and ornaments and priests from both the states come to perform rituals in the temple. Traveling to this place is very adventurous and it is off-road. Distance from Kumily is 12 km (30 min). At that time, booking was also available for darshan in the temple. A visit to this place will be a new experience that we can see two districts from the temple. And nice experience of traveling inside tiger reserve jungle in a jeep. Experiencing inside a tiger reserve jungle would be an amazing experience. I would recommend to visit this place if you get a chance.

view from temple


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