Lokanarkavu Temple or Lokanarkavu Bhagavathy Temple is one of the prime attractions of Kozhikode district, and is also among the unique temples of Kerala. Located in Memunda which is around 5km from Vadakara in Kozhikode, the temple is closely connected to the traditional martial art form Kalaripayattu.
Lokanarkavu is the short form of Lokamalayarkavu which means 'lokam' (world) made of 'mala' (mountain), 'aaru' (river) and 'kavu' (grove). The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and has several legends attached to it. The temple also has two shrines of Lord Vishnu and Shiva respectively.
There is a popular belief that the temple was founded by 500 Aryan Brahmins who had migrated to the place. It is said that Goddess Durga followed them to the place where the temple is, from her previous place of stay.
The temple has its mentions in Vadakkanpattu (Malayalam ballads of medieval origin that praise the heroism of Northern Kerala). It is also said that Thacholi Othenan, the legendary martial arts hero of Kerala, worshipped the deity of Goddess Durga in this temple daily. This 1500 year old temple is still visited by the students of Kalarippayattu (a traditional martial art form) to seek the Goddess' blessings, once their training is over.
Festivals of Lokanarkavu Temple
Mandala Utsavam, which is a 41-day long festival celebrated during the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam, is one of the major festivals of the temple. A unique dance form known as 'Thacholikali' which is similar to the martial art form Kalaripayattu, is performed here during the festival. The temple is lit up with lamps during this festive season, and devotees flock in to be a part of this visual treat.
Another festival that is celebrated here is the Meenam Festival which happens in April May. This is an 8-day long festival that starts with Kodiyettam (flag hoisting) on the Rohini day. On the fifth and sixth days of this festival a traditional dance performance called 'Theyyambadi Kurup' is performed, and on the seventh day rituals known as 'Nadu Valam Vekka' and 'Pallivetta' are observed. On the final day or the Pooram day, Poorakkali and Poorappattu are organised at the temple premises.
Poorakkali is a dance performed by men, and is held during the night. Poorapattu includes songs that praise Goddess Durga, marking the events from her life history.
Opening Hours: The temple is open to devotees from 4am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm
How to reach the temple
The temple is around 5km from Vadakara Railway Station and abut 77km from the Calicut International Airport. You can travel to Vadakara from Kozhikode and then take an auto. Here's how to reach Kozhikode.