Located near the
in Alappuzha District
, Chengannur Bhagavati Temple is one of the oldest Mahakshethrams (big temples) of Kerala
. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati
. For centuries, Chengannoor temple was described as Nayanar Thiruchenkuntoor Kovil.
The deity is seen facing west and Lord Shiva is seen facing east. The image of the deity is made in panchaloha. Varada and abhaya postures are depicted by the Devi.
The specialty of the Bhagavati temple is that the deity gets menstrual period, a phenomenon that is not heard of in any other temples. This phenomenon still continues. The priest performs the daily ritual of changing the clothes worn by the deity. If upon inspection, there are signs of bleeding, the priest sends the petticoat to the traditional residence of the temple Tantri (female priest) to confirm to be the blood of menses. This stained petticoat is then sold to the public as a blessing from the deity. The shrine remains closed during the three days and the fourth day is celebrated as the festival called the 'Thripoothe Arattu'.
Legend tells that Shiva and Parvati came to reside at this place during the goddessís menstrual period.
The temple is built in Kerala style architecture in six acres. The front side of the Shiva sanctum is made low in order to prevent the devotees from having a direct view of the deity. In front of the entrance, lies the Kuttambalam pillar obstructing the view from outside.