Ezhara Ponnana is a unique temple festival at Ettumanoor, a temple to Lord Shiva near Kottayam. “Ezhara” means seven-and-a-half and “Ponnana” means golden elephant. Statues of these elephants are made of nearly 13 kg of gold each. Seven of the elephants are two feet high, but the eighth one is only one foot tall, which gives the procession and festival of Ezhara Ponnana its name. Continue reading
The Koorkencherry Pooyam festival is celebrated in the Sri Maheswara Temple, situated in the Thrissur district of Kerala. One of the main attractions of the Pooyam is Kavadiyattom. Kavadiyattoms are divided into two types, Pookavadi and Ambalakavadi. The performing groups start these ritual dances in the morning of the festival. Continue reading
Kattakampal is a village in the Thrissur district of Kerala where Pooram is an important annual festival in the Kattakampal Goddess temple. The name Kattakampal is a combination of three individual words namely Kadu (forest), Kamadhenu (cow) and Pal (milk). Kathakali is the main attraction of this festival.
The Kodungallur Bharani Festival is celebrated in the Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple to commemorate the extermination of the demon Darika by Bhadrakali. This festival attracts the largest congregation of Velichappadu or oracles in Kerala. A series of unique rituals are performed during the festivities. Continue reading
Dakshina Mookambika Saraswathi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi, the patron Goddess for learning and arts. The major festival of this prominent Saraswathi Temples is the Saraswathi Pooja that takes place in September or October, depending on the annual Malayalam calendar. Continue reading
Dedicated to the Goddess Kali, Neelamperoor Pooram Padayani is celebrated at the Bhagavathi Temple near Alappuzha. Padayani is a ritualistic dance popular in the central Kerala region but it differs from other Padayani performances as it features a swan motif called “Annan Kettu”. Continue reading
The Kavadi festival is celebrated at all the shrines of Lord Murgha, the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The Kavadi is a short wooden pole supporting 2 bent pieces of steel or wood with two baskets at each end. Devotees carry this structure that can weigh up to 30 kilos across their shoulders. Continue reading
Ochira, located in the Kollam district of Kerala, is famous for the Parabrahma Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Ochirakkali is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors on the battlefield, commemorating the historic battle fought between the Kayamkulam and Chempakasseri soldiers. Continue reading
Chettikulangra Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Bhadrakali. The temple is famous for the Bharani festival, with special rituals and Kettukazhcha processions attract numerous devotees. Continue reading
Thrissur Pooram is the grandest of festivals in Kerala, filled with elephants decorated with headdresses, beautifully crafted parasols, decorative bells and ornaments. The atmosphere is set by the ensemble of panchvadyam and pandimelam; the riveting orchestras dominated by percussion. The fireworks display in the early hours of the day following the pooram will rival shows held anywhere in the world. The Thrissur Pooram takes place every year in the Vadakkumnathan temple. Continue reading
Kalpathy is an ancient Brahmin agraharam (village) situated in the heart of Kerala’s Palakkad district close to the Tamil Nadu border. Kalpathy Ratholsavm, The Chariot Festival, is based on vedic Tamil Brahmin culture. The main center of the festival is Kalpathi Sree Viswanatha Swami Temple. During the festival week the deity from Viswanatha Swami Temple is taken out and installed in the chariot and thousands of devotees drag the huge, intricately carved temple chariots bedecked with flowers, fruits and flags through the streets. Continue reading
During the Malayalam month of Kumbham and Meenam (February & March), a special Keralan temple festival draws the faithful to the Allepy and Kollam districts. This festival, Kettukazhcha is a time where devotees of Goddess Parvathy bring offerings from their paddy field. At the temple of Chettikulangara they use sculpted and decorated forms of six temple cars known as ‘Kuthiras’, five ‘Therus’ (Chariots ) to represent the architectural skills of the ancient people of Chettikulangara. Continue reading
Ochira is a distinctive place of worship in the district of Kollam in Kerala. The Ochirakkali is a temple festival celebrated there which commemorates the historic battle between the kings of Travancore and Kayamkulam. It is a mock fight enacted between groups of two men dressed as warriors in the padanilam, the Malayalam word for battlefield. Men, irrespective of age, engage in mock duels wielding wooden sticks on a vast ground filled with water up to knee level. The concept of this festival is to be aware of the universal consciousness. The festival begins in the months of June and July.