Valliyoorkavu in Wayanad, Kerala, India - get details, & find more attractions to visit nearby

Get Travalour for free on Google Play


Mananthavady Bypass Rd, Valliyoorkavu, Mananthavady, Kerala 670645, India

Hindu Temples
Temple Festivals

About Valliyoorkavu

14 th century temple dedicated to goddess Durga, a favourite among the local tribes

Valliyoorkavu Bhagavathy Temple, the 14th century temple dedicated to goddess Durga is located at the high hills of Valliyoorkavu, 3 KM’s from Mananthavady town in Wayanad district of Kerala. It is believed that the idol of the goddess is self-manifested. The temple is a prominent place of worship, especially for tribal communities. In here, the goddess manifests in three forms, ‘Vana Durga’ (forest goddess), ‘Jala Durga’(Water goddess) and ‘Bhadrakaali’ (Auspicious form of goddess Kali who protects the good).

The legend regarding temple's construction

According to legends, Vadakkola Nambiar the priest of Kodungallur temple once traveled through Wayanad and was resting near Kabini river. When he woke up after sleeping, the anklet and the sword of the Kodungallur goddess which he carried in his journey was missing. After searching for it around, a Paniya tribe member showed him the sword and the anklet hanging on top of a vine on a sacred fig tree. As the priest and the men prayed, the sword and the anklets fell down and a divine voice was heard saying ‘I present here is three forms. As Vana Durga, Jala Durga and Bhadrakaali. This encounter was informed to the Kottayam Raja who was camping in Wayanad and he ordered to built a temple here.

In and around the temple and its sacred groves

The temple has a Sreekovil (Sanctum sanctorum), Nadapanthal (Pathway), Thottampaatt kottil (a hut for the Kerala art form called Thottampatt), Balikkal (Sacrificial Stone), Sub-shrines, Thidappally  (the place were offerings to the deity is prepared) and Pathayapura (Storage place). There are two sacred groves as well in here called Mele Kaavu (Upper sacred grove) and Keezhe Kaavu (Lower sacred grove). The groves are 100 meters away from one other.

The Moolasthanam, the spot were the deity is placed is a termitarium in the lower groves. This idol here is believed to be self manifested. The idol in the upper grove is in the form of a Shaligram with the concept of goddess as the Vana Durga. As the goddess in Vana Durga, there is no roof for the Sreekovil.?

Three poojas (worships) are held daily. Usha pooja (morning worship) at 8:30AM, Ucha pooja (noon worship) at 12PM, and Athazha pooja (evening pooja) at 8.30PM. The regular offerings of the temple are Pushpanjali, Raktha pushpanjali, Muttarukkal, Ney vilakku and Ney paayasam.

Aarattu- the annual temple festival

The major event in the temple is the annual festival called ‘Aarattu’ which is held in every March and lasts for 14 days. The festival is very important to the tribal people of Wayanad. The ritual art form called ‘Kalamezhuthu’ is performed during all nights of the festival. The last day of the festival will have a feast and variety of folk art forms will also be performed. However, in the recent years the performances started to have more modern taste and include an orchestra, dances, trade fairs etc..

Slave trade during the festival in olden days

In olden times, slaves were exchanged by masters during this festival. It was one of the major events of the festival. Most of these slaves belonged to different tribes in Wayanad and neighbouring areas.  As times have changed this is no longer part of the festival.

Today, the festival is the chief annual event of the diverse tribal population. It is now also celebrated by the locals in Wayanad irrespective of caste or religion. For tribal communities who primarily work in farms , the festival marks the end of the previous one year contract of labor and the beginning of a new one. While they were bound to one master in the past, today the tribes have a choice and can negotiate with potential employers.

Major events during the festival

The arrival of holy sword of the goddess from the nearby Palliyara Bhagavathy Temple in Pandikadavu marks the beginning of the festival. Unlike other temples, ‘Kodiyettu’, the hoisting of the flag is performed only on the seventh day of the festival.

One of the important rituals during the festival is ‘Oppana varavu’, a procession from the Cheramkode Bhagavathy temple at Kallody to the Valliyoorkavu Bhagavathy temple. The procession comes with tender coconuts for ‘Abishekam’(Ablution) marks the ‘Arattu’(bathing the deity) of the goddess. 

The festival concludes when the ‘Oppana varavu’ returns to Cheramkode Bhagavathy temple. This happens after ‘Rudhirakkolam’, a symbolic fight between  Goddess Durga and the demon king Darika in which former wins.?

How to get to Valliyoorkavu Bhagavathy Temple

Valliyoorkavu Bhagavathi Temple is 24 KM away from Kalpetta, 31 KM away from Sulthan Bathery and 3 KM away from Mananthavady. It is 72 km away from Kozhikode where the nearest major railway station is located.

Attractions near Valliyoorkavu

Pazhassi Raja Museum3.21km from Valliyoorkavu

The memorial of Pazhassi Raja, the lion of Kerala.

Kuruvadweep7.04km from Valliyoorkavu

Group of islets in the Kabini River covered in evergreen forest with rich flora and fauna.

Panamaram Jain Temple9.2km from Valliyoorkavu

Amidst coffee plantations and right on a the sides of a highway remains the ruins of a Jain Temple, one of the oldest in India.

Thirunelli Maha Vishnu Temple12.49km from Valliyoorkavu

An ancient Vishnu Temple, a melting pot of myths and history.

Pakshipathalam16.65km from Valliyoorkavu

Trek to to the caves that are home to birds and reptiles, where saints meditated years ago.

Banasura Sagar Dam16.87km from Valliyoorkavu

Banasura Sagar dam which impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabani river is a part of the Indian Banasura Sagar project consisting of a dam and a canal project started in 1979.

Where is Valliyoorkavu

Discover more attractions in Wayanad, where Valliyoorkavu is located

Wayanad19 attractions

Ancient caves and carvings, tea plantations, cool climate.