Mandaikadu is a small sleepy seaside town in the South Cape Camorin. The deity in the temple here is Bhagavathy, who is believed to cure all the ailments which women suffer. She is also believed to rule the nine planets or the Navagrahas in one’s astrological chart.
According to legend, over a 1000 years ago, a hermit installed a Sri Chakra (since many of us may not know what it is or what it signifies, I would hereafter refer to it as an idol.) As is the wont of most hermits of yesteryears, he wanted to move to other places, so he decided to move the idol. After having decided on a place, he began meditating at the place where he had been doing puja.
Suddenly, he had a vision of goddess Bhagavathy. She told him that she wished to reside in the place where he had been doing puja. She also said “I bid you to sit beside me inside the earth and guard this place which is inside dense forests.” Immediately, the hermit buried the idol and he himself attained Samadhi next to where he buried the idol.
The place where he buried the idol began growing steadily like a small sand hill.
Some time later, a few boys who were playing with a palm fruit dropped it inadvertently on the hill. Immediately blood began to ooze from the hill. (I will refer to this place as a temple from now on) Scared by this turn of events the children ran to bring the elders to the spot.
The elders believed that this was Bhagavathy who was guarding the area and began lighting a lamp daily at the temple. Soon one day there was an incident. A few people were entering the village at midnight. Knocking at the doors of the villagers, they asked them to provide them some food as they were very hungry. The villagers however, were not very hospitable and directed them to the temple nearby to find their own food.
Dusk was fast approaching and the village was on the fringes of a dense jungle on the coast. So the people were scared. Still they went to the temple and said “Mother please give us some food.” Miraculously they heard a voice that said “go take a bath and return, you will get food.” They dutifully did what they were told and Bhagavathy is said to have fed them herself. After a sumptuous meal they slept in the temple premises. The next morning when they woke up they had a vision of the goddess smiling benevolently at them.
Immediately, they left several valuables they had brought with them in a sack and left.
Meanwhile the King of Travancore had a vision of Bhagavathy in his dream. She told him to build a temple for her with the money left by the travelers. Next day the king visited the place which had appeared in his dreams and fulfilled the wishes of the goddess.
However as he began construction of the temple, the sand hill continued growing in size. They had demolish the temple twice because of its gaining height. So the king implored the goddess not to grow in height. But the goddess said that it would not be possible. However, she said that she would grow only the size of a grain each year. It is believed that to this day the sand hill is growing in height each year.