Arattupuzha Pooram festivities (Photo Credit: Instagram@arattupuzha_pooram)
One of the oldest festival of the ancient India that holds much significance even today with Hindu devotees from every corner of the world flocking Kerala in the month of March-April is Arattupuzha Pooram. The seven day long festival is known for its sheer grandeur and magnificence and is held at the Sree Sastha Temple in Thrissur district of Kerala. The Pooram or annual festival is famous as it is dedicated to a conglomeration of gods and goddesses called Devamala. As many as 23 deities are brought to the 3000 years old Arattupuzha Temple during the festival and worshipped.
The festivities reached its peak in the last two days of the festival when a Sasthavinte Melam or fair is held that has marvellous display of Kerala tradition and culture and percussion artists from all round the world perform with richly decorated elephants in backdrop.
At sunrise of the last day of Arattupuzha Pooram, the dieties are taken to nearby river with an elephant procession for bathing and aarti and offering a delicious payasam made from rice and milk. Lord Ayyappa, the presiding diety of the temple at Arattuouzha is the last diety to come for ‘aarattu’ or the religious bathing.
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Major poorams, including Arattupuzha and Thrissur poorams, are scheduled to be held in April and May, however if they will be organised or not with thousands of debotees visiting the shrine will be taken after reviewing the emerging health scenario in the wake of coronavirus threat.
Though the Arattupuzha Pooram is scheduled to be held on April 5,this year festivals at 23 temples under the Devaswom that participates in the mother of all poorams are slated to begin seven days earlier from March 28. Here too, rituals will be held in accordance with the customary practices.