Chathakkudam Shasta kshetra(Temple) is located in Vallachira, 15 km south of Thrissur town. Chathakkudam Shasta is the ruler of Vallachira land. Shasta Pratishtha is a darshan to the east. The idol is in the posture of a sage sitting in meditation. Thitamp is in the form of standing holding a bow and arrow. There is a theory that Chathakkudam Shasta is Vishwamitra Maharishi. Shasta is enshrined in a ‘gajaprishta’ (elephant buttocks) shaped shrine inside a fairly large enclosure. There is no Namaskaramandapa in front of Shasta’s shrine. Instead, there is a difference here that the Namaskaramandapam is in front of the shrine of Lord Vishnu outside the enclosure. Cherukunnilamma is another deity shrine outside the enclosure. Inside the enclosure are deities of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Chappabhagavathy. The temple has a huge elephant wall. Connecting the Anapalla wall are east and west gopurams. There is a two-storied tower on the west side. Inside the wall, there is a standing floor to the southeast. On the 10th day, this is where Shasta is raised. Avanav Mana(big old Home names), also known as ‘Vallachira Avanav’ and ‘Desamangalam Avanav’, is the temple Uralan(owner). The Mana’s of Perumpadapp in the south, Perumpadapp in the north, and Kainikara in the north are the Tantra. Now, this temple is under the Cochin Devaswom Board.
The oral tradition about the origin of the temple is as follows. Vallachira Avanav Mana and Chittoor Avanav Mana were dominant in Peruvanam village. They were at enmity with each other. Tiruvullakkav Shastakshetra was a famous temple where Chittoor Namboothiri ruled for the villagers of Peruvanam. So Vallachira did not agree to the pride of the Avanavas to go to Thiruvullakkav and see Shasta. Vallachira Avanav Namboothiri, who was jealous of the fame of the Thiruvullakkav temple, decided to build a similar temple in his land. For that, Deva Chaitanya arranged for a man named Chatan to be summoned from Tirullakkav without anyone knowing. Chathakkudam is said to be the place where the spirit, or the idol… brought by a Chauhan(a type of spirit) in a pot is enshrined.
It is pointed out for this that there is no stone idol with a form in Thiruvullakavi. The rituals of village sacrifices that accompany the Pooram are reminiscent of the old Kattupoka. An elephant should come from Chathakkudam to wake Thiruvullakkav Shasta. Tiruvullakkava carries Shasta silently to Chathakkudam and when he leaves Chathakkudam for the village sacrifice, both Shastas are carried on an elephant.
Another narration is as follows. In the past, there was a deity of Chathakkudam Shasta in the Shiva temple in Pattaparam. Listening to the Vedic chanting of Lord Shiva in the Pathaparam temple was a very favorite thing. But his son Shasta was not at all interested in hearing the Vedas. Unable to bear listening to the chanting of the Vedas, Shasta jumped into the pond in the east. From there it came to the area where the temple is today through the Chapa Kayal. There was a temple of Chappabhagavathy there. Chappabhagavati gave up her seat for Shasta and became sub-deity. In this way, Chappakudam, which was the temple of Chappabhagavathy, became Chathakkudam when Shasta came. Both these oracles are validated by the rituals of the Pooram. Chattakkudam Shastava is the host of the Pooram held at Pattaparam. Chatan is the Dravidian form of Shastav. Historically it can be said that Chathakkudam is the place where Chattan reigned.
The biggest annual event at Chathakkudam Shasta Temple is the Peruvanam-Aratupuzha Pooram in the month of Meenam (Malayalam Months). Chathakkudam Shasta is the main climber on the Peruvanam trail. Chattakkudam Shasta is imagined as the brother and protector of Urakathammathiruvadi.
After worshiping the lamp, the local people cut a gourd with a Talavaram, add leaves of Mavin and Aal, tie it in five places, tie a bundle of Darbha grass and raise the flagpole. Kotti announces that the Pooram flag has been hoisted by filling the flagpole and calling Marar Shankh. Then Navakam, Sribhutabali and Atazha Bali Puja are performed.
In the evening, Thaikatussery Bhagavathy and Chakkamkulangara Shasta come to the Chathakkudam temple. Chathakudam meets Shasta with full force as he steps out. Thaikatussery Bhagavathy and Chakkamkulangara Shasta invite Chattakkudam Shasta to participate in the Poorams going on in their respective temples and send Shasta out. After circumambulating the temple inside the wall, Thaikatussery Bhagavathy and Chakkamkulangara Shasta come to the eastern side and exit the western gopuram after paying their respects to Chathakkudam Shasta. Finally, when Chattakkudam Shastham exits through the western gopuram, the Thiruvathira exodus begins with 7 elephants lined up. After the Ezhunnallip with Panchari Mela, which lasts for three and a half hours, all the three people are brought down on the altar and Ezhunnallip(A form of Majestic entering). After removing the trunk from the kolam, the three of them continue their journey by getting back on the elephant. At around 12.30 pm, Chathakkudam Shasta is brought down to Desamangalam Avanav Mana and raised for puja.
In the morning, gets up from Avanav Mana, drops it in Edakkunni Thekkinyedathi Mana in the south, and gets up for puja. Then the ritual of tearing the Marathakakra river is performed. Chalukiral(opening river) is the digging of the soil with an elephant’s horn. After that, Kandemkavil comes to participate in the Thaikattussery Pooram at around 11 o’clock after the family’s prayers. Chathakkudam Shasta is brought down and lifted up along with Thottipal Bhagavathy at Alchuvath on Thaikattussery West Pathway. After the Pooram of Thaikattussery Bhagavathy, Chathakkudam Shasta and Thotipal Bhagavathy are mounted on an elephant and circumambulated around the Thaikattussery temple. After saying a favor to Thaikattussery Bhagavathy, he gets back to Chathakkudam in the evening. At this time Aratupuzha Shasta, Kudalasseri Pisharikal Bhagavathy and Thotipal Bhagavathy reach the Chathakkudam temple. They offer upacharam by inviting Chathakkudam Shasta to participate in the Poorams that take place in their temples. Thottipal Bhagwati is lowered and raised on the pedestal of Chathakkudam Shasta.
After returning from Aratupuzha Shasta and Pisharikal Bhagavathy, Chathakkudam Shasta Tottipal performs a temple circumambulation with Bhagavathy and in the second circumambulation two upacharas are performed in the order of south, west and north before reaching Ove, making a total of 6 upacharas and touching the tails and horns of the elephants of Shasta and Bhagavathy. After this Navakam, Puja and Sribhutabali are performed. Get up to Narukulangara at 9 pm. At Narukulangara, Chathakkudam Shastav goes to provide protection to Urakathammathiruvadi’s Aarat. On the way, Tantri meets Shasta full of straw. At Narukulangara, when the aarat of Urakathammathiruvadi begins, Chathakkudam Shasta is brought down to the Narukulangara temple and raised. At one o’clock in the night, Urakathamma says Upacharam to Tiruvadi. During the next day’s Peruvanam Pooram, the raised elephants touch their tails and horns to symbolize the promise of protection by Chattakudam Shastav to Urakathammathiruvadi. From there Chattakkudam Shastav travels to Chakkamkulangara. Participating in Chakkamkulangara lamp. After that, Chakkamkulangara pays his respects to Shasta, fills the rice paddy in Konikara, and returns to Chathakkudam around 8 o’clock.
At 4 o’clock in the evening, Peruvanam wakes up for Pooram. On reaching Narukulangara, Titamp is tied to the kolam. Pandi Mela starts from the south bank of Thodukulam with 3 elephants. The Pandi Mela ends with Thotipal raising Bhagavathy to the left side of Chathakkudam Shasta. Later the Panchari fair starts with 7 elephants along with Chathakkudam Shasta and Thotipal Bhagavathy. When the fair ends at 11 o’clock, Thotipal enters the Peruvanam temple along with Bhagwati and goes down to the walkway itself after circumambulation. A three-and-a-half-hour Panchari Mela with Chattakkudam Shasta standing on the right side of Ammathiruvadi at the rising of Urakathammathiruvadi starting at 12 noon. At the end of the fair, they circumambulate the Peruvanam temple along with Urakathammathiruvadi, walk down the path, and bring down the Shasta in Thodukulam’s Kulapura.
Come to Orakamtemple in the morning on Ayilyam day and offer pooja. While raising the Urakathammathiruvadi to Shiveli, first the Aratupuzha Shasta and then the Chattakkudam Shasta are recited. Here too there are 6 upachalas and touching the tail and the horn of the elephants. On the way from Urakat, after meeting at Njeruvissery Kaplinghat Manakkal Nirapara, they return to Chathakkudam around 12 noon and perform ceremonies like Navakam and Sribhutabali.
Around 10 pm, with the permission of the Tantri, the large Pani Kotti Chathakkudam is raised to catch the Shasta for the Pooram. The ceremony ends with the sounding of pipes and horns from the western side of the Patparam padam at 2 o’clock. After going to Chathakkudam Shastav Pathaparam, Urakathammathiruvadi reaches Chathakkudam Temple. After meeting Urakathammathiruvadi with full strength, he lowered it into the Chathakkudam temple and lifted it up. The math is six-quarters of an offering for the Akkapi Puja. It is mandatory to have Tantri or Melashanti for the pooja.
Supervises the elephant race in the morning. First, Netissery Shasta comes and goes to Chattakkudam Shasta. Later, Urakathammathiruvadi comes and Chattakkudam along with Shastava, after playing keli, kuzhal song and komp song, says Upacharam(a religious ritual). Chattakudam Shasta follows Urakathammathiruvadi and chants Upacharam till he crosses Valiyavaramba. After this Cherpp Bhagavathy starts to recover and Chathakkudam Shasta follows for some distance. But Cherap Bhagwati returns without offering any help to Chathakkudam Shasta. After this Chattakkudam Shasta comes back and stands as the judge of the elephant race. Later, the elephant of the god or goddess who wins the elephant race is presented with a fruit bowl in the presence of the Chathakudam shasta. Later, the deities Edakunny Bhagavathy, Thaikkatusseri Bhagavathy, Thotipal Bhagavathy, Chakkamkulangara Shastav, Kotannoor Shastav, Medankulangara Shastav, Chitichattakudam Shastav and Nankulam Shastav came to participate in the elephant race. After that, Pathaparamba Pooram ends with Aratupuzha saying upacharam to Shasta. Shasta is on his way back to Chathakkudam.
Get up at half past five in the morning, go out through the east tower, turn to the east and call the starving conch. Then it goes to waste. Later, Manakkal descends at Kadala in the south and goes to worship. After that, it is brought down to Keezhotukara Kadkala and after puja, it is brought down to Bhagavathiketra in Kadassasseri Pisharikal. In the morning Pisharikal participates in Pooram and offers upacharam to Bhagwati. After that, Carolil tells Manail and goes to participate in the Tottipal Pagalpuram. At the Thottipal temple, the person who raised the Thottipal Bhagwati ties a thread ring on the right wrist of the person who raised the Chathakkudam Shasta. This is called cap knot. The purpose of this is to record the agreement that Thotipal Bhagavathy will arrive on time and participate in the Chathakkudam Shasta’s Pooram held at Aratupuzha padam in the evening. Ezhunnallip and Kappukett will be taken down after passing the ‘Idavahi Pooram’ which is joined by Aratupuzha Shasta and Chathakkudam Shasta in Tottipal. Then Tottipal tells Bhagwati 6 upacharams. After that goes to Aratupuzha with Shasta. At Aratupuzha Temple, Chathakkudam Shasta is brought down and raised. Again he got up on the elephant and said a favor to Aratupuzha Shasta. This is considered as giving permission to Aratupuzha Shasta to start Pooram. After upachara, Chathakkudam Shasta returns to Chathakkudam. Panikoti is raised for Aratupuzha Pooram at night. At Aratupuzha Padath, Thotipal Bhagwati is placed on the right side and is depicted with 7 elephants and panchari mela. Once the fair is over, Aratupuzha takes over the position from Shastava. Edakunny Bhagwati stands witness to this. At this time, hunger conch calls. The stand continues till Triprayar Thevar reaches Kaitavalap. When Urakathammathiruvadi reaches Aratupuzha padam around 4 o’clock in the morning, Chathakkudam Shastav stands on the right side of Ammathiruvadi. Ezhunnallip with Pandi Mela along with Urakathammathiruvadi. Then Ammathiruvadi and Chathakkudam Shastham join the left side of Thriprayar Thevar. When Cherp Bhagwati came to the right side, the famous Kooti Ezhunnallip began. At 7 o’clock in the morning, when the procession is over, the Shasta of Chattakuda takes the Oorakathammathiruvadi to Mandaram Pier, drops the procession at Mandaram Pier and raises it. Triprayar Thevara is dropped off at Mandaram Quay and picked up by Chathakkudam Shastav and journey to Chathakkudam.
The elephant is sent to Thiruvullakkav from Chattakkudam around 6 pm. At Tiruvullakkava, taking the lamp ceremony, Tiruvullakkava lifted Shasta on an elephant and left for Chathakkudam. For the first time, the sacrifice is made in the elephant’s mouth. Later, after crossing the eastern gopuram, the sacrifice is performed outside. Returning to the temple, crossing the western gopuram, the journey begins for the village sacrifice. Sacrifice is performed at the temples of Pattaparam, Kudalassery Pisharikal, Mulang, Thotipal, Aratupuzha, and the Urakam temple is offered via Thevar Waramp. Finally, the ceremony is concluded by offering sacrifices in front of Tannayappan at Peruvana. Sacrifices are also offered at divine trees, water bodies and forks on the way. Around 5 o’clock in the morning, the two Shastas are brought down and raised in the pool of Thodukulam, Peruvanam.
Purpose By 12 noon, Kudalassery Pisharikal Bhagavathy and Urakathammathiruvadi reach Peruvanam road. Peruvanam Pagalpuram begins with Urakathammathiruvadi standing in the middle, Oranappuram Chathakkudam Shastha and Thiruvullakkav Shastha on the right, and Kadalassery Pisharikal Bhagavathy on the left. After that, enter the temple through the eastern corridor and circumambulate the temple. The starving conch calls as it approaches the north tower. When Pisharikal Bhagavathy exits through the north gopuram, Urakathammathiruvadi offers upacharam to the Shastakas. After crossing Oove, Urakathammathiruvadi Chattakkudam Shasta and Thiruvullakkav Shasta specially recite 6 upacharas and part with the elephants tail and horns. Exiting through the eastern walkway, the two Shastas proceed to Thiruvullakkav. At Tiruvullakkav, the two Shastakans are met with pride. By this time Pisharikal Bhagwati would be waiting at Thiruvullakkav. Pisharikal sends Bhagwati on her way as a favor. After this, in 9 circumambulation, both Shastakans are lowered on the same pedestal and raised. Later, the flagpole of Thiruvullakkav is pierced by the elephant of Chattakkudam Shasta. After Kodikum, Chathakkudam Shasta returns to Chathakkudam. On the way, he meets Shasta in Nambiar Math. After returning to Chathakkudam, he enters the Melam Kotti temple from the western side and circumambulates it 11 times. After that, the elephant stabs the flagpole. With this, the Puram ceremonies of Chathakkudam Shasta come to an end.
Chathakkudam Shastava travels the longest distance around the village during Pooram season. It is about 4 km from Chathakkudam to Peruvan and Aratupuzha.