This temple is associated with the Kirata episode of Mahabharata. Arjuna observed high vows to appease Siva. Siva and Parvati in the guise of Kiratas, went to meet Arjuna. Duryodhana had sent Mukasura in the guise of a wild boar to disturb Arjuna's penance. Both Arjuna and Siva shot arrows at the boar and the boar was killed. A dispute began about who killed the boar. In the subsequent fight, Siva's body was pierced by Arjuna's arrows. Seeing this Parvati cursed so that the arrows sent by Arjuna became flowers when they fell on Siva's body.
Katampuzha Bhagavathy is worshipped as Parvati in the form of Kirata. An offering called Pumutal is performed here in which the installation is covered with chethi flowers in memory of Arjuna's arrows becoming flowers as they fell on Siva's body.
Other installations are Narasimhamurty, Sudarshan Chakra (both on the West side), Naga Kanya (North side) and Ayyappa (South Side).
About one and a half west of the Bhagavathy Temple there is another temple, Matampiyar Kavu Temple where Siva is worshipped as Kirata Siva. The idol is shown wearing bows and arrows. While the Devi faces West, Siva faces East.
The temple was established by Ambalappuzha Kings at a site belonging to Ambanattu Panikkar, an Ezhava landlord (2).
Pallippana is performed once in every 12 years. During Pallippana, Nizhalkkuttu Song of Mavaratam Song is sung by Velathis to rejuvenate Lord Sri Krishna. After 12 Pallippanas, Vijayabali is performed (3).
After the snake sacrifice, King Janamejaya was afflicted by leprosy. The King came to Guruvayur and worshipped the lord and got cured of the disease.
The famous Guruvayur Ekadasi is the day on which Krishna instructed Arjuna Bhagavad Gita.
Krishnanattam is performed as a votive offering. This temple art deals with the story of Krishna in 8 plays.
(2) Notes from the Book Keralathile Pradhana Kshetrangalilute by Kunhikuttan Elayath, H & C Publishing House, Thrissur (August 2002)
(3) Based on information given in the book Ambalappuzha Srikrishnaswamy Kshetram by Dr. Ambalappuzha Gopakumar, Chapter 10, Pallippanayude Porul (Meaning of Pallippana), Ambalappuzha Srikrishnaswamy Kshetra Vikasana Trust (2000).