History of Tali Temple
The Zamorins was closely associated with three temples; Tiruvalayanad, Tirunavayi and Kozhikode Tali. Their empire dates back to the installation of Porkhali Bhagawati at Tiruvalayanad. The Zamorin had seized the Tali temple, by force in spite of the resistance of the Nambudiris who in those days were also doughty warriors. Many were killed by the Zamorin's men and their bodies were dragged and thrown on the mound now called Surgam (Durgam) nearby.
Some grammas were also administered by kazha-kams or Advisory Boards, each under an officer called the Taliatiri. These villages were known as Talis, of which the important ones numbered eighteen. Among them Kozhikode Tali was the most famous. However this Tali was not founded by the Zamorin. As stated earlier, it belonged to fifty Nambudiri families of the Tali gramam. They also ran a Vedic pathasala or school at Salapuram, now called Chalapuram. They maintained intimate and cordial relations with their ruler, Porlatiri, the men even having sambandham or liaison with the thampurattis or princesses of the royal family. Their territory was besieged and invaded by the Zamorin some time about A. D. 1200. With the occupation of Calicut by the Zamorin, Porlatiri was expelled from his land. Naturally, the Nambudiris of Tali did not like this and were very unhappy.
The Kofattiris of Chirakkal were the allies of Porlatiri and the enemies of the Zamorin. The story goes that the Tali Nambudiris helped a Kolattiri prince to smuggle himself into the Zamorin's palace in the guise of a Brahmin. A Thampuratti fell in love with him. When the romance could no longer be concealed, the lovers fled, with the connivance of the Nambudiris.
According to another version, the Brahmins resorted to pattini or fast unto death seating them on the top of the Surgam. The Zamorin was however firm. They had helped his enemy and they brought dishonour on the royal family, making the sovereign a laughing stock of all Kerala. He refused to submit to what he regarded as pure political blackmail, however holy or high its authors might be. Thus the misguided Brahmins were allowed to die.
The temple did not suffer in any way by the change in management. However, the death of the Brahmins cast a dismal shadow. The palace astrologers found an easy explanation for any anishtam or unpleasant event in the Zamorin's family from common cold to natural bereavement and insisted upon the expiation of this sin of Brahmahatya or slaughter of Brahmins. At last on the advice of Kolkunnathu Sivankal, the Zamorin instituted the annual Pattattanam in A.D.1309-1310 at the Tali temple.
Festivals of Tali Temple
The Tali festival celebrates many festivals. Everyday five poojas and three sivelis or processions are conducted here. In the evenings Namajapam or repeating of the Lord's names is practised here. The annual utsavam begins on Vishu day (Kerala New Year's day) and lasts for 7 days. On the 8th day the arattu or bathing ceremony is held.
Renovations of Tali Temple
The present temple was built by Manavikraman the great. Like several other temples in Kerala the Tali temple also, which was subjected to spoliation and desecration by Tipu Sultan, had been renovated at the close of the 18th century. Following a devaprasnam conducted in 1964 renovation work was again taken up and completed in 1967 with a navikarana kalasam or purificatory rites performed on an elaborate scale. Then the installation of flag staffs had taken place for both the Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna shrines on March 3, 1976. In the following year, a Rig Veda laksharchana was also conducted to commemorate the historic Revati Pattattanam which now belongs to history.