Enchanting hill stations like Munnar, backwaters of Thekkady, waterfalls of Alapuzha, martial arts like Kalaripayattu, beaches like Kovalam, ancient temples like Ananta Padmanabha Swamy temple along with evergreen rich forests truly prove that Kerala is God’s Own Country.
A visit to Kerala offers number of options depending on your taste. If you wish to see some more cultural extravaganza, then head to Arattupuzha village, located in Thrissur district during the month of March.
This is the place where the annual festival called Arattupuzha Pooram is celebrated with a lot of grandeur. The venue for this festival is the Sree Sastha Temple, of Lord Ayyappa. It is an ancient temple believed to be nearly 3000 years old.
Arrattupuzha Pooram is celebrated for seven days and is called ‘Devamela’ or a conclave. People believe that all Gods and Goddesses gather in the temple during this time.
Hundreds of people from other places visit the village of Arattupuzha during the festival and take part in the celebrations.
The main attraction lies in the final two days. On sixth day evening a ceremony is called Sasthavinte Melam is conducted where around 61 caparisoned elephants with several percussion instruments start to gather. Each elephant will be bejeweled, decorated with muthukkudas (silk umbrella) and venchamarams (white tufts).
The late evening time is like mid-day, with brightly lit traditional lamps and burning staffs (theevetti). The procession of elephants starts by 7 pm and continues till early morning hours.
The elephants carrying deities of nearby temples that had gathered at the Sree Sastha Temple would proceed to the nearby river. Now another ceremony called ‘aarattu’ is performed. All the idols are immersed in the river with holy chanting.
The entire proceedings shall be accompanied by traditional torches, panchavadyam, nadaswaram, pacharimelam and pandimelam (several percussion and musical instruments) and the tempo would be terrific.
Exquisitely adorned elephants, rhythmic beats, music, chanting, traditional arts and much more make this event dazzling. It will be an amazing sight to watch and is a display of true Kerala tradition.
Visit Kerala during this festival time and you are sure to be enthralled. Apart from enjoying scenic Kerala you can also experience the spirit of the oldest poorams (festivals) of Kerala.
Distance from the Munnar – Terrace Greens: 153 km, 3 hours 18 mins
Distance from the Thekkady – Woods n Spice: 191 km, 3 hours 56 mins