Oracles at Pisharikkavu temple, Kozhikode
Sree Pisharikkavu Bhagavathy temple is located at Kollam, 28 kilometers from Kozhikode town. The main deities here are Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The temple is famous for its murals, assumed to be the oldest in the state, dating back to the 14th century and also exquisite woodcarvings.
The temple has two sanctum sanctorums and many sub shrines. Kollam Chira, the pond on the temple premises is a big one. Devotees throng here on almost all days seeking the blessing of the two deities. Various rituals are there connected with the temple. The temple also finds a mention in Kottarathil Sankunni’s famed book Aithihyamala.
Kaaliyattam is the most important ritual connected with the eight-day annual festival here. On the Kaaliyattam day, the Naandakam Vaal (a sword) is ceremoniously taken out of the temple on caparisoned elephant.
About fifteen caparisoned elephants take part in the procession and traditional drum ensembles is another highlight.
Velichappadus or oracles also gather at the festival scene. Considered to be the representatives of the deity, the oracles will be dressed in red clothes, red scarves, a girdle of bells on the waist and hold a sword in hand.
Slowly they get into a trance and execute vigorous movements, which is locally called Idum Koorum Chavittal.