Thirumandhamkunnu Temple is a historically significant Hindu temple in Angadipuram near Perintalmanna which is known as the capital city of Valluvanad,in Malappuram district, Kerala state, South India. The temple deity, Thirumandhamkunnilamma, was the para devatha (official goddess) of the kings of Valluvanad, the local feudal kings ruled the area in the Middle Ages. The assassins (called Chavers) of Valluvanad king set out from this temple to Thirunavaya, to participate in the famous Mamankam festival. A memorial structure called the chaver thara ("platform of the assassins") can be found in front of the main entrance of the Thirumanthamkunnu Temple.
The temple is also an important pilgrim center, especially for the eleven-day long annual festival celebrated in March and April months of the Gregorian calendar. The "principle deity" of temple is the Hindu god Shiva. Other deities include goddess Bhagavathi, locally called as Thirumandhamkunnilamma and the elephant god Ganesha, for whom the famous Marriage Offering (Mangalya puja) is performed. Mangalya Puja, Rigveda Laksharchana, Chandattam and Kalampattu are the important religious offerings of the Thirumanthamkunnu Temple. There are ceremonies and rituals specific to this Hindu temple that are not carried out at others. The Thirumanthamkunnu Temple courtyards are on a hilltop that provides a view of the countryside spread out below.
Legend Surrounding Thirumanthamkunnu Temple:
King Mandhata of Surya dynasty ruled his kingdom for a long period. He then gave away the kingdom to his successors and chose to meditate on Hindu god Shiva and attain the Shiva’s feets at the end. Shiva was pleased with his penance appeared before the king Mandhata and offered him any boon at Mount Kailash. The king prayed to the lord for an idol to worship till his death. Shiva gave him the most holy Shiva Lingam which was too dear to him and which used to be worshipped by Parvati and then the god disappeared.
Carrying the Shiva Lingam on head, King Mandhata started his downward journey from Mount Kailash and reached the hill now known as "Thirumandhamkunnu" in Kerala. A spring with crystal-clear water flowed along the northern slope of the hill. Many beautiful birds chirped in the jungle. Wild animals like lion, tiger, and elephant roamed about in the wilderness in full harmony forgetting their traditional enmity. Different kinds of trees and plants grew in the region and gave out sweet smell in to the atmosphere. The surrounding attracted the king. Feelings of idol on his head heavy he placed it on the ground at immediately the Shiva Lingam got stuck in to the earth.
Shiva had gifted the Shiva Lingam to the king when his consort Parvati was away for her bath. When Parvati turned up for worship the Shiva Lingam was not there. She got upset on enquiry she know that it was presented to the King Mandhata, by her husband. Being too much attached to it she wanted the Shiva Lingam back. Shiva tolled her that he had no objection in her trying to get it back. Parvati now offered Bhadrakali and a host of demons to rush up and get back the Shiva Lingam from the king. With the army of demons, Bhadrakali reached the northern slope of Thirumandha hill. The brightness emitted by the Shiva Lingam installed by king Mandhata was so great that it dazzled the eyes of Bhadrakali and demons and they were unable to move up the hills. So they started throwing up the weapons from the foot of the hill.
The ascetic attending on Mandhata were unarmed but tried to defend themselves with whatever things they had. These being insufficient to protect them they plucked Attanga nuts from their creeper plants, which were available in plenty and threw them at the enemy. Because of the power of Shiva and the divine power of Mandhata the nuts got changed in to arrows instantly. Bhadrakali and her demons could not resist them the fight lasted for fifteen days. The age-old custom of "Attangayeru" on first of Thulam (the Malayalam month) on the new moon day of the same month in the forenoon before pantheerady pooja refers to the legendary fight between mandhatha and kali. The painting on the walls of the mathrusala throws light to this legend. These paintings which are in lying with the wall painting at suchindram, Pundarikkapuram, Vaikom and Guruvayoor were executed in 1944.