Arattupuzha Pooram: Kerala Temple Festival

Arattupuzha Pooram: Kerala Temple Festival

This festival is the oldest and most extravagant of all the poorams celebrated in Kerala. The festival is celebrated at the famous Arattupuzha temple in Thrissur district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.

The celebration takes place before the 3,000 year old Sree Sastha Temple. The occasion is known as conclave of Gods. It is believed that on this day hundred and one gods and goddesses of the neighboring villages visited lord Ayyappa, the deity of the Arattupuzha Temple.

The festival is celebrated for seven days. All the buildings of the town were beautifully illuminated by strings of colorful light bulbs. This festival is the oldest and most extravagant of all the poorams celebrated in Kerala.

The festival is celebrated at the famous Arattupuzha temple in Thrissur district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The celebration takes place before the 3,000 year old Sree Sastha Temple and this occasion is known as conclave of Gods.

It is believed that on this day hundred and one gods and goddesses of the neighboring villages visited lord Ayyappa, the deity of the Arattupuzha Temple. The festival is celebrated for seven days. All the buildings in the town are decorated with lights and flowers. Arattupuzha pooram is the largest devamela in the world. A group of elephants and musicians performing in front of the temple is a common sight during this festival.

This festivals falls in the end of March and continues till the April. There are small kiosks all around the temple, specially during this festival. One can find many palmists and small vendors selling traditional things.

On the fifth day of the festival, a procession is held in which drummers, and eight elephants accompany the beautiful elephant carrying idols (thidambu) of 23 deities, including Thripayar Thevar, Oorakathamma Thiruvadi, Cherppil Bhagavathy, Chathakudam Sastha, Anthikad Bhagavathy, Thottipal Bhagavathy, Pisharikkal Bhagavathy, Edakkunni Bhagavathy, Ayyunnil Bhagavathy, Thaikkattussery Bhagavathy, Kaduppassery Bhagavathy, Choorakkottu Bhagavathy, Poonilarkkavil Bhagavathy, Kattupisharikkal Bhagavathy, Chakkamkulangara Sastha, Kodannur Sastha, Nankulam Sastha, Sreemattil Sastha, Nettissery Sastha, Kalloli Sastha, Chittichathakkudam Sastha and Medamkulam Sastha.

The idol of the deity of the Arattupuzha Sastha temple is taken to the Thottipal temple. It is brought back after the Thottipal Pooram to the Sastha temple and then regular rituals and Sreebhoothabali are performed. An elephant peagent is held on the sixth day which features beautifully ornamented 61 elephants.

There is a huge crowd of people bearing glowing traditional torches, some also dance and sing and Panchavadyam, nadaswaram, pacharimelam and pandimelam add to the festive tempo. Lord Ayyappa is given holy bath (arattu) with great pomp and gaiety in the Arattupuzha river on the subsequent day. The caparisoned elephants bear muthukkudas (silken umbrella) and venchamarams (white tufts) make a delightful sight.

Traditional art forms are displayed here. The dazzling fire works bedazzle the onlookers with the beauty of sparks which are like jewels embellished in the darkness of night. This sight is amazing! Grama Bali is performed. An elephant race is also held.

This colorful festival attracts spectators from all parts of the state. The ceremonial processions of the images of the deities from 41 neighboring temples to the Arattupuzha temple make it a unique festival.

Time To Celebrate:

Arattupuzha pooram is the largest devamela in the world. The festival falls in March / April or Meenam month according to Malayalam calendar. The festival is celebrated for seven days.

How To Reach Arattupuzha Pooram Temple Festival:

By Road

Thrissur (Trichur) is well connected with all important places and cities. The KSRTC bus station, near the railway station operates long distance and inter-state services. Sakthan Thampuran bus stand is 1 km away from town.

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