It is known in ancient times as Shinkli, Muchiri (anglicised to Muziris), Muyirikkodu, Muchiripattinam was a famous and prosperous sea port at the mouth of the Periyar river in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The name Muchiri denotes the three branches of the Periyar river that open into the Arabian Sea at the town.
Kodungallur Bhagavati temple
Kodungallur Bhagavati temple is a unique temple dedicated to the goddess Bhadrakali. The temple is situated in the middle of a plot of land about ten acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The Srikovil is facing north. The western chamber of the inner temple is the seat of Sapthamatrukas (seven mothers) who also face north. The idols of Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are
also found in the chamber, one facing east and the other facing west respectively. The idol of bhagawati is about six feet high and made of wood, carved from a jackfruit tree. The idol has eight arms which carry various weapons and symbols.
The festivals of significance at Kodungallur are Makara Sankaranti and the Bharani Festival.
Makara Sankaranti coinciding with Pongal in Tamilnadu is one of the important festivals at Kodungallur. As in Taminadu, the day prior to Pongal is celebrated with the burning of unwanted belongings in a bonfire.
Makara Sankranti brings with it 4 days of colorful fanfare, with processions twice a day on elephants to the accompaniment of music, fireworks. The final day's procession is marked by the accompaniment of several women carrying plates of rice and coconut. In fact, the center-most entity in the procession, is a plate containing these offerings, on an elephant. A grand reception is offered to this procession when it reaches the temple. The procession leaves from
the original location of the Bhagawati temple, the Kurumbayamma shrine in Kodungallur.
The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the grandest in Kerala. It is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. Traditionally the temple (especially during the Bharani festival) has been associated with a lot of animal sacrifices. These customs have been done away within the 20th century. The blood of the sacrificed used to be spilled over two stones in the prakaram, and as mentioned above, this practice is now stopped.