Vana Bhadrakali of Thekkepatti
This temple is situated in Thekkepatti which is near Meetupalayam. This place was called Nellur Pattinam once .It was ruled by seven sisters called Aaravalli, Sooravalli, Veeravalli etc. They were all experts in magic as well as black magic. They wanted their country not to have even the smell of males. They caught hold of small kings near by using black magic and tortured them. Lord Krishna told Pandavas who were kings of Hasthinapura and requested them to put down these sisters. Bheema waged a war and almost destroyed them but due to their black magic was imprisoned by them. Lord Krishna using his powers managed to make Bheema free from their bondage. Hearing this Aaravalli told, “Are the people who are afraid of ladies men?” and sent a letter to Bheema. Pandavas became very angry and sent Allimuthu, their sister Sangvathi’s son to capture the Aaravalli sisters.
Before entering Nellur Pattinam, Allimuthu, went to the Vana Durga temple and requested for the blessing of the Goddess. The goddess gave him a powerful sword and a handful of sacred ash. Allimuthu defeated the Aaravalli sisters and subdued them. They told him, “We are impressed by your valour. We want you to marry our daughter Palvarisai. Marry her and take her with you.” Since Palvarisai was pretty, Allimuthu agreed and married her. Unfortunately he forgot the sacred ash given by Vana Durga. At one point when he was very tired Palvarisai gave him the juice of a lemon given by her mother to him. Poor, innocent girl did not realize that the lemon was full of black magic. As soon as he took the juice, Allimuthu died. Hearing this Abhimanyu the son of Arjuna went to the world of Indra and brought the soul of Allimuthu in a bottle and made Allimuthu alive. After this all Pandavas went to the Vana Durga temple and requested for her blessings to put down the Aaravalli sisters. They entered Nellur Pattinam and defeated the sisters. One sister ran away to Kerala. The nose of the other sisters was cut and they were killed. They renamed Palvarisai as Valamma and married her again to Allimuthu.
After that people started living peacefully in Nellur Pattinam. They were grateful to Vana Bhadrakali who was the one who helped them and started worshipping her. There was also another reason for them to worship Vana Bhadrakali. There was a place called Bhagasuran Kottai near the Vana Bhadrakali temple. This Asura was tormenting the villagers and eating one of them every day. Once it was the turn of a boy who was the only son of a clan. His mother was crying. Bheema who was there agreed to go To Bhagasura, instead of the boy. Instead of taking the food to Bhagasura, he started eating it. There was a big fight between Bhagasura and Bheema. But whenever Bheema cut Bhagasura in to pieces, the pieces again joined back. Bheema worshipped Vana Bhadrakali. She told him to cut Bhagasura in to two parts and put the two pieces next to each other but the cut ends on the opposite sides. Bheema did this and Bhagasura was killed. At the time of his death Bhagasura prayed Vana Bhadra kali and requested her to make him as a village protection God. She agreed. His temple is facing Vana Bhadrakali temple and is 200 feet away. In between them there is a temple of Aaravalli. Also there is a Muniyappa statue near the Bhagasura temple. Recently they have also constructed a Shiva temple near by.
Vana Bhadrakali removes the effect of black magic and blesses barren woman with a child. They put lemon garlands to Vana Bhadrakali. The lemons from these garlands are supposed to cure all diseases.
From the second Tuesday of Adi month (July-August) there is fifteen day festival in this temple. A big pit of fire keeps on burning during the days of the festival. About thirty thousand people walk through the fire pit without any problem. Apart from that on new moon day in Adi and on eighteenth day of Adi month, there are festivals.
There is another custom at this temple. Before the goddess many packets which contain either red or white flowers are kept. People, who want to take decision on important matters, think of a colour and take a packet. Only if the desired colour comes, they do the job they want to do.
No animal sacrifices are done to Vana Bhadrakali. But goats are sacrificed to Bhagasura some days even one hundred goats are sacrificed to him.
In many of the big mils and business places in Coimbatore and Mettupalayam districts, before a years account is written, they give a big feast in Vana Bhadrakali temple.