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Invoking the Mother Goddess

Invoking the Mother Goddess
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Right from Vedic Age to Modern India, South India remained the epicenter of art, culture and religion. There are several temples of world fame situated in different regions/states under the geographical boundaries of Southern part of the country. Kerala, the 100 per cent literate state among all other states of South India, is known as ‘God’s own country’. The state is rich with numerous ancient temples and religious places. The temples in Kerala has been all the time an amazing factor for its uniqueness in structure, rituals, tradition, offerings, festivals, customs etc. Some of these are even connected with our great epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha. An average Keralite Hindu feels that their day starts with the prayer and offering in the temple with a bath either in the pond nearby or in the house itself with a deity circumstance.

Among several other festivals, Pariyanampetta Pooram festival is celebrated at the temple of Pariyanampatta, Mangalamkunnu, Palakkad to worship goddess Bhagwati. The legend has it that goddess of 14 Desams Bhagwati resides in this temple. According to the Malayalam calendar, the Pooram is the 7th day of the month of Kumbam. It is a seven-day festival and the Pariyanampetta Pooram falls on the 7th day. People of Kerala consider it as a multi-hued event held at the temple of Pariyanampatta, whose presiding deity is mother goddess or Bhagwati. It is one of the biggest temples of devi of Valluvanad Desam in the Palghat district in the state of Kerala.

The celebratory ritual features a procession of 21 decorated elephants. Throughout the festival, the image of the goddess Bhagwati is rendered on the floor accompanied by devotional songs that are sung around it. These ritualistic drawings are called Kalamezhuthu Pattu. This year the festival will be celebrated across the state on 19 February.

This Pooram festival is marked by various beautiful traditional folk as well as classical musical performances. It may include Tholpavakoothu, Pootham, Kalamezhuthupattu, Thira, Kaalavela, Karivela, Kuthiravela, Chakyarkoothu and Kathakali etc. As per history, the Sakthan Thampuran, who was the ruler of Kochi, had introduced Pariyanampetta  Pooram. He introduced this major festival of this area during his reign in 1775- 1790 AD.

The temple along with its limits have a resemblance to that of temple of Mookambika Kollurthe whose presiding deity is Bhagwati or mother goddess. The pooram festival is being celebrated in the month of Kumbam as per the Malayalam calendar.

This festival is full of art and show biz so it becomes quite fascinating for the tourists visiting here. What catches most the fancy of tourists is Kalamezhuthu Pattu. Tourists can get to see the art available for them throughout the seven days of the festival. The combination of these images along with the ritual songs makes them more beautiful for the thousands of devotees who gather here to witness this spectacular view.

During the times of festival, one can also get to see amazing presentations of art forms such as Chakiyarkoothu and Kathakali which exhibit the enriched cultural heritage of the state of Kerala.

There are performances such as Shadow puppetry, which is another folk art referred to as Tholpavakoothu. It is performed at night creating an amazing ambiance among the people.

The last day of this festival is followed by a ceremonial procession in which nearly 21 elephants participate. To add to the entertainment, there are various folk arts being exhibited here such as Kaalavela, Kuthiravela and Poothanum Thirayumetc which help in transforming the procession on the concluding day and make it more interesting.

The 21 elephants which have been grandly caparisoned are trained to parade all through the streets and millions of people come to enjoy this spectacular view as well as seek blessings from these elephants as they are regarded as holy by the people of Kerala.

The musical performances accompanied by these festooned elephants put up a traditional presentation and are the significant parts of the festival of Pariyanampetta Pooram. The people of Kerala consider music as an integral part of almost every festival being celebrated there. There are music performances taking place before the deity in order to please them.

The folk arts such as Kaalavela also called as spectacle of bull effigy and Kuthiravela called as the spectacle of horse effigy make the final day of the festival to a highly fascinating and diverting one.
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