Madayi Kavu, also known as Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Kali Amma in Kerala, India. The temple, now under the administration of Devaswom Board, was originally under the control of the Kolathiri kings. The temple is also associated with Mannanpurathu Kavu (Nileshwaram) dedicated to Kali, and Vadukunnu Temple dedicated to Shiva. Madayiis a small place in Kannur which is blessed with immense beauty of nature. It is the native place of Goddess 'Madayikavu Amma'. Madayi is famous for Madayikavu (Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple) where devotees worship as 'Madayikavu Amma'. 'Madayikavu Amma', Goddess who is known for her blessings on devotees is worshipped as Mother Kali and it is a belief that any devotee who worships this Goddess with faith will be free from the black magic's and witchcrafts of the enemies.
The origin of the temple is ancient, and the main deity worshipped here is Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi in the form of Maha Kali. As per the history the temple existed from ancient time and there are two different stories about the existence of the deity. In one of the stories, Madayikavu Amma who is in the form of Bhadrakali originally existed in Shiva Kshethara Thiliparambha Rajarajeshwari Temple. But, as she was non-vegetarian and could not continue to exist at Thiliparambha Rajarajeshwari Temple, she ordered the then King of that region to construct a separate temple in her name.
Then 'Madayikavu' Temple came into existence as per the deity's wish. In another ancient story it is believed the people of Madayi were troubled by a demon named 'Dharaka' and Madayikavu Amma in the form of Kali killed him and requested Lord Shiva to give a place on earth where people can worship her always. Lord Shiva ordered his disciple Parashuram and as per his orders Parashuram hit the ground with his sword and the sea which made way for a hill was transformed into a "Punya Kshethara' of mother Kali very popularly known as Madayi Kavu Ammaor Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi.
The origin of the temple is ancient, possibly preexisting Vedic times. The main deity worshipped here is Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi who is Bhagavathi in the form of Kali. The Bhagavathi is worshipped as the daughter of Shiva. Other deities are also present. The temple also contains a Shiva shrine. The Shiva shrine faces East, while the Mata Kali shrine faces West. The Brahmin priests at the temple, known as Podavar Brahmins, belong to a particular sect associated with Kali worship, and are not barred from consumption of meat. A particular aspect of the temple is Kozhi Kalasham, which is the sacrifice of poultry for the goddess which is held in high regard.
The temple was spared from destruction by Tipu Sultan (whose followers destroyed the nearby Vadukunnu Temple). The Madayi Kavu temple was saved from destruction by Nair warrior, Vengayil Chathukutty Nayanar, who received the title of Nayanar from the temple authorities for his bravery (Sthanaperu). Till this day members of the Vengayil Nayanar family are held in high esteem at the temple.