Sree Puthiyakavu Bhagavathy Temple is situated near Kollam Raiway Station, in Kollam, Kerala. It is a centuries old temple. Goddess Bhadrakali is the presiding deity.
The myth runs so that during the reign of Tippu Sultan , the Sultan ordered every idol that is worshipped to be vandalized and that the worshipper be killed . Refugees from Malabar escaped to Kollam. Among them was a Brahmin saint who unable to leave his deity , Goddess Lakshmi, behind transformed the idol into a young girl so that the idol will not be destroyed and brought her with him. Reaching Kollam finding a suitable place he transformed her back into an idol and resurrected her there as the protector. The saint spends his lifetime guarding the idol till his last breath. This availed him the title “Bhrahmarakshass”, also worshipped in the temple. But later somehow after the death of the saint the idol once simply vanished out of sight. It is said to have been robbed away.
It is believed that the early tribals of the area worshiped the goddess and offered animal sacrifices to please her. The narration of saints includes their feeling of a pull that does not allow them to leave the place unless they have dedicated a good part of their lives in the place. The incidents are numerous of the saints who had to surrender to the force that fills the area and beckon them to spend time in close contact with the divine grace even after the idol was lost. They often claimed to have seen a female form preceding occasions and ceremonies , the kind of form that the tribals worshipped.
During the circa when the British army camped at Kollam one among the Hindu Majors had a dream where the Goddess appeared and ordered a temple to be built at the place. The Major acknowledged his superior, Dhwara about the dream and without ado the construction of the temple was started. The form of the Goddess that appeared in the dream was the same as the female form the tribals and the saints claimed to have seen. An expert wood carver from Calcutta was brought to create the idol.
It is said that when the woodcarver couldn’t make out the form that the Major explained each time he had a dream that detailed every feature he was not sure about. The statue was made in Red Sandal Wood. The idol was a female with eight hands and armed in each with left leg forward standing on beheaded a corpse, gripping the head of Darika (asura) in one of her left hand and a crown with a symbol of eight headed serpent.
The temple was built and as time passed the Britishers moved away. The place was taken by washer men from Andhra. They did not have adequate knowledge to time the poojas and hence handed over the charges to a Brahmin settler. It is said that if the ceremonies of the temple are not dealt up with care and aptness the road right in front of the temple will witness an accident that will spill a lot of blood before the temple. Yet the person will suffer from nothing else other than blood loss. All have survived so far but it acts as an indication that the divine aura has lost her interest if her ceremonies are dealt in with carelessness . As long as the ceremonies and poojas are done according to system the Goddess acts as the caretaker of the enter gamut and lets no harm fall on anyone irrespective of cast creed and religion.
The special cover issued by Kerala Post carries a colour image of the temple facade with the flag post against a blue background. The Special Pictorial cancellation is a deep blue colour graphic of the temple lamp and the Pongala fire. The stamp is of MY STAMP Dahlia with the image of the Goddess with the Pongala date and the prayer “Puthiya Kavil amma you are our solace” released on 27th February 2017 – SL NO -KL/08/2017.