Information on Arattupuzha Pooram 2015

Arattupuzha Pooram 2015Image : Sivavkm via Wikipedia

Arattupuzha Pooram is the oldest temple festival celebrated in India. It is held annually at the Arattupuzha Temple in the Thrissur District of Kerala. The Pooram is also called “Devamela” as 23 deities from various temples in the neighboring areas are brought together for the celebration.

According to the festival calender published in Kerala Tourism website, Arattupuzha Pooram 2015 will start from April 1st.

The festival is celebrated in a grand manner at the Sree Sastha temple which is situated at Arattupuzha – a serene village about 15km away from Thrissur town. People believe that during the festival time, Lord Ayyappa who lives in the Sree Sastha Temple is visited by the gods and goddesses that reside in the neighbouring villages.

Arattupuzha Sree Sastha TempleImage : Sivavkm via Wikipedia

The Arattupuzha Pooram is aptly called the mother of all pooram festivals in Kerala because of the magnanimity and grandeur of the festivities. Hundreds of visitors throng the village of Arattupuzha during the festival time to be a part of the celebrations. The festival lasts seven days, with the last two days being the most important. One the eve of the final day, heavily decorated elephants are assembled along with percussion artists for the ceremony called Sasthavinte Melam.

Sasthavinte Melam
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During the Sasthavinte Melam, the entire venue is brightly lit with traditional lamps and huge flame bearing staffs called Theevetti. The percussionists comprising of Panchavadyam, Pacharimelam and Pandimelam play jubilant beats to keep the rhythm going. The richly ornamented elephants are also present bearing Muthukkudas (sequined umbrellas) and Venchamarams (white whisks) to entertain the crowd.

Arattupuzha Temple PooramAfter this ceremony, the elephants that are carrying deities from nearby shrines move towards the neighbouring paddy field and are lined up before a jubilant crowd. By sunrise on the last day, the elephants with the deities are taken to a river nearby  for the Aarattu ceremony. This is a ceremonial cleansing of the deities that is done by immersing the idols in the river,chanting mantras and offerings flowers to the deities. Lord Ayyappa, the main deity of the Sree Sastha temple at Arattupuzha is the last to undergo this ritual cleansing process.

Arattupuzha Pooram Rituals - Aarattu ceremonyImage : Sivavkm via Wikipedia

As I said for the coming year, the Arattupuzha Pooram festival is scheduled on April 1st, 2015. The celebrations start 5 days earlier with the Thiruvathira Purappad where the Sastha is taken out of the sanctum sanctorum accompanied by five elephants. After the rituals, it is taken to the Thaikattussery temple to witness the pooram at Thaikattussery temple.

An elephant race will also be conducted at the Pidikkaparambu Temple on the day prior to the Arattupuzha Pooram, after which the Sastha is taken back to Arattupuzha. On the morning of the Arattupuzha Pooram, the Sastha takes part in the Thottippal Pooram and then returns to the Arattupuzha temple.

Arattupuzha Pooram ViewsImage : Sivavkm via Wikipedia

After the customary rituals, the Sastha comes out of temple by 7pm along with by fifteen elephants. A group of more than 250 percussion artists display their talents followed by a fireworks show. The Sastha then moves to the paddy fields in front of temple to receive all the guests who come for the Devamela (Divine Durbar).

Arattupuzha Pooram DevasamgamamImage : Aruna via Wikipedia

The Devasamgamam takes place during the entire night with Poorams of the neighboring deities, while the Sastha is set down at Nilapaaduthara. The ceremony culminates with the Arattupuzha Sastha coming outside to bids farewell to all visiting deities.

The Arattupuzha Pooram festival season is very opportune time to visit Trissur. You can plan your Kerala tour package in such a way that you can take in the best of what this celebration has to offer.

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Article written by

I am the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays, Cochin a Kerala based tour operator. I love reading, exploring places and trying out new dishes!

4 Responses

  1. itsgoa
    itsgoa at | | Reply

    Thanks Sunu for sharing it with us….

  2. Reena
    Reena at | | Reply

    Good to read such type of descriptive blog.
    Keep blogging…!!! Would love to read more…!!

  3. Chandramohan
    Chandramohan at | | Reply

    Hi Sunu,

    Good blog. I am from Karalam, a village not far from Aaraattupuzha. I am yet to witness this puram since I have been overseas most of the time. I have heard great things about this puram.

    Please correct the following:

    After the rituals, it is taken to the Thaikattussery temple to witness the pooram at Thaikattussery temple.

    Change “it” to “Sastha” as you have written elsewhere.

    Trissur Please change to Thrissur.

    I think this puram used to include more number of elephants (120 or so some fifty years ago and then reduced to 60. It is also conducted in paddy fields after the harvest.) I believe these fields have now been converted to commercial land and reduced the area the temple can work with.

    Cheers

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