Mookkuthala in Nannamukku village of Ponnani Taluk in Malappuram District is about 2.5 km away from Changaramkulam town on the Kozhikode - Thrissur state high way. The original name is supposed to be Mukthisthala as sued by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiripad in his poem in praise of the Goddess who blessed him. There is also another belief that the name came from being the place where three met (Kanhiyur, Vadakkumuri and thekkumuri). There is a famous legend connecting this temple to Adi Sankaracharya. It is believed that at the age of ten in AD 798 when he started on his travels, he crossed the Narineenthi River (today known as Naranipuzha) and came to a dense forest. There a divine light appeared before him. Desirous of finding the origin of this light he came to the place where the Melekkavu is situated today. He realized that it was coming from a divine presence in a Rudrakshasila. Thinking that it must be Goddess Durga, he installed the Goddess at the place where the Keezhekavu is situated today. But the divine light remained. Consequently he installed Goddess Bhadra, then Lord Siva in his most powerful form, then Lord Narasimha facing the river in Kolanchery temple, and Lord Sastha at the Karuvattu temple. But the divine light remained.
Sri Sankara now undertook his first meditation and penance at Mookkuthala. When the power appeared before him he asked for the boon that anybody who worshipped there should be blessed with knowledge, progeny and prosperity. And he was blessed with all his wishes. The Goddess is worshipped as Parasakthi here. None of the rituals of ordinary temples like festivals or kalasam is performed here. The pooja performed by the Brahmins made the Goddess Bhadra too powerful for the devotees to approach her. At their request, the Goddess at Mookkuthala asked Goddess Bhadra to change her seat two feet to the west. Goddess Bhadra was apprehensive that she may be neglected if she stayed away from the other Goddesses. But the Goddess at Mookkuthala promised her that whatever was offered to her would be offered to Goddess Bhadra too. When it was heard, the Goddess Bhadra changed her place two feet to the west. That place came to be known as Kannenkavu. That area belonged to Azhuvancherry Thamprakkal who was delighted to see Goddess Bhadra installed there and promised to Sree Sankaracharya to look after the affairs of the temple. Sree Sankaracharya permitted the same and thus Azhuvancherry Thamprakkal became the owners of Sree Kannenkavu. But he had to bring an Elayathu from Kochi to conduct the pooja as the Goddess was becoming too powerful under the poojas performed by the Brahmins. By the poojas of Elayahtu Goddess Bhadra became calm and thus she reigns as Kannenkavu Bhagavathy to this day.
Every year on the 1st day of the Malayalam month of Thulam, there is the special offering of Pattu Koorayidal in the temple. In the month of Vrischikam, there is Aghanda Nama Japam and Ayyappan Vilakku. The Pooram festival is held on the first Friday of the month of Makaram. The Nattu Thalapoli is celebrated on the second Tuesday of the month of Kumbham every year. The day of consecration is celebrated on the star of Anizham in the month of Midhunam. The consecration day of Manjakkaat, the sub-deity here, is on the star Uthruttathi of the same month. In the month of Karkidakam, the temple organizes Ashtadravya Ganapati Homam, Gaja Puja (worshipping the elephant) and offering of food for the elephants. Apart from these, special poojas are performed by the Thanthri of the temple every month. Prasadayoott (distribution of food to the devotees) is held on the star Anizham every month.