Lokanarkavu Temple

Lokanarkavu Temple is located at Memunda, which is 5 km away from Vadakara /Vatakara, in North Malabar region of Kerala. Lokanarkavu Temple is the more popular name of short name of Lokamalayarkavu. The whole term Lokamalayarkavu comprises of four words – ‘Lokam’ meaning world, ‘Mala’ meaning mountains, ‘Aaru’ meaning River and ‘Kavu’ meaning grove.

The temple officially belongs to five hundred Aryan citizens who came to Kerala to settle down here, as well as their successors. It is believed that Aryans constructed the temple some 1500 years ago. The Idol of the mighty Durga is worshipped in Lokanarkavu Temple. Two temples, each dedicated to Lord Vishnu and lord Shiva, are also located in the vicinity of the temple. The temple is renowned for its historical significance, because Thacholi Othenan, the renowned martial hero of Kerala, used to come to the temple every day and worship its presiding deity i.e. Goddess Durga.


Lokanarkavu Bhagavathy Temple was built by the Aryans Brahmins. So, they accepted the trade as their main occupation. Later on they also started to accept some of the customs of the local Nair community and developed martial relationship with them. Both Aryans and Nairs had different culture and traditions. It is believed that Goddess Durga accompanied the five hundred Aryans, on their trip to Lokanarkavu, as a lady. The successors still consider Goddess Durga as their mother instead of a Goddess. The Durga Temple is prominently related to Thacholi Othenan. He was a great martial hero of Kerala and an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga.

Most of the rulers of Kerala used to worship goddesses by following Thamasa Pooja or Shakteya Pooja, wherein either man or animal is sacrificed to the goddess. This tradition was followed as a ritual in the family temples kings and local people of the state. However, Lokanarkavu Temple was never involved in such practices, as it was built by Aryans itself. Later, this tradition was replaced with chopping plantain or performing Poojas by making use of tender coconut and cereals, owing to the Aryanisation of temples.

Key Features:

Mandala Utsavam is the main festival at Lokanarkavu Bhagavathy Temple, which is annually celebrated in a grand way. This is the one and only temple in Kerala where peculiar folk dance is performed during festivals, called Poorakkali. This form of dance is similar to the martial art Kalarippayattu. Since the temple has been associated with the legendary martial art performer Thacholi Othenan, those who make their debut in Kalaripayattu come to this temple to seek blessings of Goddess Durga, before their performance. Pooram is the next important festival. This week-long festival starts with Kodiyettam, which means flag hoisting and ends with Arattu. It is organized with great splendor, which is witnessed by hundreds of devotees. The temple is spread across acres of lush land. Its tranquil and holy environs revive the senses. The temple has been built as per the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Devotees even pray to their ancestors along with Goddess Durga, as it is believed that prayers made without praying to ancestors goes unheard.

Lokanarkavu Temple is situated at Memunda about 6 km from Vadakara. National Highway 17 passes through Vadakara, and the place is around 48 km north of Kozhikode. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and several private bus owners operate frequent bus services to Memunda.
Nearest airport: Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode about 23 km from Kozhikode town.
Railway Station:
Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 48 km from Vadakara.

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