This temple is around twelve hundred years old. The temple has thirteen territories. Chettikulangara temple is considered as the second largest temple after Sabarimala in terms of income under the control of Travancore Devaswom Board.
History of Chettikulangara temple
Some common legends are attached to it. Several centuries ago some local chieftains went to see the annual festivities at the Koypallikarazhma Bhagavathi temple that is situated a few kilometres from Chettikulangara Bhagavathi temple. The visitors were disgraced by the Koypallikarazhma temple authorities. They were disturbed by this humiliation and decided to construct a Bhagavathi temple at Chettikulangara. It is believed that Devi had come in their dreams to say that she would soon come to Chettikulangara. Afters few days, while the local boatman of the nearby Karippuzha rivulet was finishing his work on a late evening, he heard an old woman requesting his help to ferry her to the other shore. He helped the lonely lady and decided to accompany her to Chettikulangara. On their way, they took rest beneath a wayside tree. He bought some food. Soon he fell asleep and on waking up could not find the lady.
The Antharjanam of the house was serving some dishes for the workers. An old woman joined them for lunch. After having food the old lady moved to the western side of the house, and vanished in thin air with a bright glow. Antharjanam saw this and fell unconscious. The same day Devi showed her self to the village chieftains also. Thereafter it was confirmed that the Bhagavathi had reached Chettikulangara.
According to another legend, this temple was consecrated by Padmapadacharyar on the Uthrittathi day of Makara month in A.D. 823. It is believed that the Goddess was a family deity and later it emerged as the village and regional deity.
It is also believed that the main deity or Chettikulangara Amma is the daughter of Kodungallur Amma who was brought to that place for the well being of people at Onattukara.
Other Deities of Chettikulangara temple
There are many Sub-Deities that are adjacent to the temple. Among them the main deities are: Yakshini, Ganapathi, Nagarajav, Balakan, Muhurthi, Naga Yakshi, Thevara Moorthy, Kannamballi Bhagavathi, Rekshas and Vallyachan. There is also a small temple for chief abode. Karimbana and Chembakam trees are also worshipped in the premises.
Festivals of Chettikulangara temple
Parayeduppu period is the festival season. It begins when the deity is taken out for procession in the Malayalam month of Makaram. Jeevatha is the main part of this festival.
Kumbha Bharani is a festival that is celebrated in the month of Kumbha(March or April) and on the day which has the star Bharani. Kuthiyottam and Kettukazcha are the major highlights of this festival.
Ethirelpu Ulsavam is the annual temple festival. It is celebrated for 13 days. Each day of the festival is organized by residents of each territory. Cultural processions start from each territory every afternoon. During the rituals Thottampattu songs are sung. This song is sung only during the Etheralpu festival.
Aswathy Ulsavam is held on the Aswathy day in the Malayalam meenam month. In this festival it is imagined as a send off to the deity on her journey to visit her mother at Kodungallur. The temple remains closed for the day and will be opened only the day after. This temple concludes the five month long festivities at this temple.