A famous abode of Goddess Durga in Kerala, considered as one of the 108 Durgalayas (abode of Durga) in Kerala.
Legend is that Sri.Cheraman Perumal, legendary ruler of Kerala built a temple at the present day Kumaranelloor with a plan to install a Kumara (Lord Muruga) idol at the Sree Kovil (Sanctum Sanctorum)
Meanwhile, some unexpected developments were taken place. At the far away Meenakshi temple in Madurai someone had stolen the nose ring of Goddess Meenakshi which is made of Navarathna. The Pandya king doubted the chief priest of the temple. He ordered the priest to get back the nose ring within 41 days, otherwise he shall be beheaded.
The innocent priest prayed to Goddess Meenakshi to save his life. On the night of 40th day Goddess Meenakshi appeared before the priest; asked him to follow her.
The priest followed the divine light which marked the presence of Devi. After a long journey, they reached Kumaranalloor where Prathishta (installation) ceremony of Kumara idol is about to take place. The divine light from Madurai straight away entered the Sri Kovil meant for Kumara and stayed there.
The priest who followed the light, King Cheraman Permal and devotees gathered there heard a divine voice telling that this place is not meant for Kumara (which, when translated in Malayalam becomes Kumara Nallaur)
Realising the meaning of the divine voice the King ordered the consecration of Durga idol inside the Srikovil and appointed the Priest who followed the Goddess Meenakshi from Madurai as the chief priest of the temple.
Meanwhile, the King built another temple to Lord Subrahmanya (Lord Muruga) at nearby Udayanapuram and installed the idol meant for Kumaranalloor at this temple.
Later, the King had a vision that the idol of Devi had to be changed as it was hurriedly built. The Goddess directed the king to search in a river at a place called Vedagiri. Accordingly, the King brought the idol from Vedagiri.
Traditional belief is that at that time Lord Parasuram appeared on the place and consecrated the new idol by his own hand.
As is in other Kerala temples, this temple also has beautiful murals all around. The famous Utrattathi Vallam Kali (Boat race) is also associated with this temple.
Thrikkarthika Utsavam, in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (November- December) is the most important festival. Having darshan of Devi, while on her return from Aarattu (ceremonial bathe), during this festival is considered holy. It attracts many devotees of the temple.
The legend is that even Sri. Vadakkumnatha (Lord Shiva of Trissur and Lord Subrahmanya of Udayanpuram wish to have sight of the devi at this time. Tradition tells us that the presence of these two will be there at the Southern wall of Kumaranallur temple during this time)
Kumaranalloor is about five kilometers from Kottayam.