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Arattupuzha Pooram is one of the oldest temple festivals in the world.
Hello, friends welcome to another fresh article of “Newkeralatravels.com”. Arattupuzha Pooram is celebrated in a small village in the Thrissur district of Kerala India.
It has been 1400 years since the inception of the Pooram. But the fervor, devotion, and passion of the celebrations have not waned.
The Pooram celebrated in the Malayalam month of Meenam, lasts for a period of seven days and is considered to be the meeting of God’s.
Believers say that at this conclave 33 crore gods and goddesses and other divine beings who find mention in the Hindu mythology gather.
Known as the Mother of all Poorams as many as 23 deities from different temples in Thrissur participate in this festival.
Also Read:- Thrissur Pooram: The Mother Of All Festivals.
Story Of Arattupuzha Pooram.
Triprayar Thevar who leads the Pooramfestival is the main deity of the Triprayar Temple.
Festivities for the Pooram begin with the Kodiyettam or the flag hoisting ceremony. The same ritual takes place in each of the participating temples as well.
At Arattupuzha the Kodiyettam takes place on Makariyam asterism and for this, the trunk of an areca palm tree is chiseled to perfection and decorated well before being used as the flagstaff.
This marks the beginning of the Pooram festival.
The very first ritual held is the Pooram Purappadu or the announcement of Pooram.
Lord Shasta arrives on an elephant back sounds decoration with the accompaniment of Kuthuvilakku to the border of the village to announce the festival.
The submission of the Thiruvayudham or holy weapon is one of the main ceremonies.
Specially made and decorated bows, arrows, swords, and shields are submitted before Lord Shasta.
The procession of the Lord continues with the accompaniment of these weapons.
Another important ritual was held in the Thiruvathira Vilakku. It is held on the very next day of the Kodiyettam.
Held early in the morning Lord Shasta is accompanied by caparisoned elephants in this ritual.
The main attraction of the Thiruvathira Vilakku is the elaborate musical ensemble conducted by tradition.
Detailed Keli recitation will be followed by Kombu Pattu, Kuzhal Pattu, and finally ends with Panchari Melam, the traditional Kerala Orchestra.
In the following days, Lord Shasta goes to visit the neighboring temples. According to the tradition many other ceremonies are held in the participating temples.
The Chaalukeeral, Kurukkan Kulathile Aarattu of Triprayar Thevar are some of them Tharakkal Pooram is held on the eve of the Pooram day.
It starts at 6:00 p.m. The major crowd puller of Tharakkal Pooram is the musical ensemble led by 150 musicians.
The Goddess of Oorakam accompanied by melam and Thottippaal by Panchavadyam arrives for the Pooram.
Around midnight, Lord Shasta sets off for the procession to other temples.
On the day of the Pooram, Lord Sastha returns to the Arattupuzha Temple at 4 p.m., and poojas and other rituals follow his arrival.
At dusk, the Triprayar Thevar sets out for the Pooram by crossing the river. and the Lord who soon will be the leading deity of the Pooram will be welcomed with love and devotion by the devotees.
The journey of Thevar for Arattupuzha Pooram is one of the most beautiful spectacles of the Pooram festivities.
After the daily rituals, Lord Shasta sets out again for the Pooram festival by around 6:00 p.m.
Then Panchari Melam, the percussion orchestra which showcases the performance of around 250 gifted artists takes place.
This particular percussion performance is regionally known as “Sasthavinte Melam”.
Once the melam ends, Lord Shasta goes to the paddy fields in search of Triprayar Thevar When the Lord returns from the paddy fields.
He positions himself in the Nilapaduthara or the ground in which Pooram takes place, as a host of the Pooram festivities.
Processions of other Gods and Goddesses join Lord Shasta in the Nilapaduthara.
Thriprayar Thevar, who leads the Pooram, arrives at midnight.
He arrives with the accompaniment of eleven elephants and the Panchavadyam.
Later when he proceeds to Pooram, the percussion changes to Pandi Melam and 10 more tuskers will join the troupe.
After this, gods and goddesses assemble with the accompaniment of 71 elephants.
This conclave of gods and goddesses is known as ‘Koottiyezhunnallippu” and is one of the grand spectacles of the Arattupuzha Pooram.
During the course of Melam around 2:00 in the morning, Arattu, or holy bath ritual will begin at the nearby river ghat.
Popularly known as Mandaram Kadavu Arattu, this is one of the last important rituals held as part of the Pooram festival.
Pisharikkal Bhagavathy is the first deity to perform Araattu, followed by other goddesses.
It can be said that there is no other Arattu festival where deities and worshippers in such numerous numbers take part together in a ceremonial bath.
The musical ensemble continues till sunrise. When Thriprayar Thevar starts for Aarattu, Arattupuzha Sastha accompanies him.
The last ceremony is the circumambulation after this the deities are apart. Known as Upcharam Chollal or the leave-taking ceremony by the gods and goddesses.
The ritual is done by the elephants who symbolically bid adieu by raising their trunks.
The number of salutes is different for different deities.
The Goddess of Orakkam and Cherppu and Triprayar Thever will be accompanied by Lord Shasta to the paddy fields.
Gramabali or blessing ceremony takes place on the day of Arattu.
It is believed that Lord Shasta travels across the length and breadth of the village and showers his blessing and promise to save the villagers.
The festival concludes with the return of lord Shasta to the temple sanctum sanctorum.
Thus ends the year’s Pooram celebration with the kodiyirakkam, or dismounting of the flag.
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