Thirunakkara Arattu is a famous temple festival of Kerala that is celebrated for 10 days at Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple in Kottayam district of Kerala with great pomp and show. It’s an annual celebration with dates differing very year as per the Malayalam calendar. This year the festivals will be observed on 24th March 2018.
The highlight of the festivals is a grand procession which includes several drummers, decorated elephants, and dance performances. Usually, 9 elephants are included in the procession that is accompanied by drummers and the temple God is carried to be bathed. It’s a pleasant sight showcasing the colorful values and culture of Kerala whereby devotees can be seen fully engrossed in the festivities.
Apart from this, other highlighting elements of the Thirunakkara Arattu include Kathakali dancers performing throughout the night on the third and fourth day of the festival. Besides, the celebrations also include folk arts like the Mayilattom (peacock dance) and Velakalietc which are performed in the temple compound.
Mayilattom (peacock dance)
The celebration goes on for days and is concluded by Arattu whereby a lineup of 9 majestically decorated elephants accompanied by drummers carry the idol of Lord Mahadev for bathing.
This Mahadev Temple where celebrations take place is located on the Thirunakkara Hill of the Kottayam town and is one of the important Shiva temples. It’s also known for its historical significance, architecture, traditions, and sanctity.
The grand festival of Arattu Utsavam starts from the first day of the Meenam month of the Malayalam calendar that falls in either March or April. Thousands of people from distant places visit the temple to enjoy the festival.