Chittoorkavu is in the townshiop boundary of Chittoor muncipality abovt 30 kms from Palakkad town. The eastern side of the ghat is known as ‘ Kongan Nadu'. At a remote time in the history of Malabar, the Kongan army entered Chittoor through the mountain pass and a fierce fight followed. In the fight the people of Chittoor, with the help of Chittoor Goddess could defeat the Kongans. To commemorate the event every year ‘Konganpada' festival is celebrated at the Chittoorkavu temple. Goddess Durga in her formidable form is the main diety of the temple. ‘Chanthattom' is the important ritualistic offering of the goddess and as a result of the incessant offering, the idol had turned in to deep black.

The legend about the divine birth of Devi Kali is as follows:- Daruka was a wicked demon. He conquered the three worlds with the miraculous boon that he obtained from Brahma. The Devas suffered much due to continual torment of the demon. Consequently Lord Siva became angry and out of his fire of anger there existed the goddess Kali, who was entrusted with the work of killing the demon Daruka. But killing of Daruka was not an easy task. Daruka's blood must not drop on the ground. If the blood fell on the ground, each drop of blood would transform into a new demon. In order to prevent the blood from falling on the ground Siva created a genie (evil spirit). The goddess climbed on the genie's back and fought against Daruka. Eventually the Goddess cut off Daruka's head and held it on a triple-pointed lance. Blood gushed out from the cut, but not a single drop fell on the ground because the genie and the other evil spirits drank each drop of blood as and when it came out of the wound.


The facial expression of the Goddess at the time of assassinating Daruka had been horrifying and of course, it relfected in the idol also.

Near the chittoor Kavu, to the north-western side, there is another wooded area called ‘pazhayannur Kavu', which is considered to be the original adobe of the Goddess.

In the early historic period Thamizhakom was divided into five large territories of which on was the Kongan area (Kongu Nadu). The rulers of the Kongu Nadu were known as Kongu chears.

the Kongans were jealous of the peopleo of Chittoor mainly because of the difference in geographical condition. The Kongan areas on the eastern side of the mountain pass were entirely different from Chittoor.

The Kongan Nadu was mostly barren with less vegetation and rainfall. The soil was not a all fertile. As a result the Kongans used to trespass the Chittoor area and made a fuss by indulging in robbing and arson. So the chieftains of Valluvanadu, Palakkad and Kozhikode were against the Kongans. Then the KOngan ruler wanted to bring Chittoor under his rule. So he led an army to Chittoor. The people of Chittoor were very much bewildered at the unexpected entry of soldiers into their place. so they assembled in front of their Savour. Pazhayannur Goddess and prayed for help. Suddenly they could hear a voice of an invisible being, “Go ahead, nothing to be afraid of . Success will be yours. I am here to help you.”


The Kongan army inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Chittoor Nair army so that the lost all hopes of success. At this critical moment there heard a thunderous noise of laughter at the battle field challenging the Kongans. “Chittooramma” directly entered into the battlefield! No sooner did the Kongan army see the frightening figure of the Goddess than they took to their heels. Mean while she assassinated the ruler of the Kongan's and a few soldiers. The joy of the people of Chittoor knew no bounds. In memory of their victory they celebrated ‘Konganpada' festival at the temple. It has still been celebrating with ceremonial ritualistic functions on Monday after the new moon in the month of ‘Kumbom' (february/March) every year.

After the battle since the Goddess was very tire, she took rest on a rock. Then the people were able to see the Goddess with their naked eyes. In order to ward off her tiredness, they offered her meat and alcohol. The Goddess shared it with other evil sprits and disappeared. Before long, the people consecrated an idol of the Goddess at this spot and began to worship it. A temple of Durga thus originated at this place.

Since the people's first offering to the devi was meat and alcohol, the rituals at this temple were performed by Nairs and not Brahmins, under the leadership of Naluveettu Menon, and this tradition is still following at the temple.

The ceremonial festival ‘Konganpada' begins with the reading of palm-leaf inscription chellenging the chieftains of Chittoor for a battle. The right for the conduct of the festival rests upon the Menons of Naluveedu.

On the festival day the people of the village assemble at one place under the leadership of the Menon, and go to the original resting place of the Goddess to offer sacrifices. Later they return to Chittoorkavu with a ceremonial procession. The figure of the Goddess is drawn artistically on the spat of areca nut leaves and are put on the head of person so as to perform a dance known as ‘Kolam Thullal' (a rustic devil dance). This is considered to be the main ritualistic performance in which many families participate who wish to have peace and prosperity.

The festival ends with a special item known as ‘Pallu' in which the people sing and dance to their hearts content after taking a non-vegetarian meal in order to commemorate the Devi's victory over Kongans

0 comments