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Aarattu in Kerala

(Last Updated 01 Feb, 2023)

  • Dates :

    24/03/2023 - 24/03/2023

  • Location :


South India abounds in temples. The state of Kerala is no exception. These temples are the centers of a large number of fairs and festivals. Some innumerable customs and rituals are related to these festivals, and they are religiously followed at the time of the celebration. Two prime rituals followed in the important temples of Kerala are Pallivetta (Royal Hunt) and Aarattu (Holy Bath). The Aarattu Festival in Kerala is particularly relevant at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

History of the Aarattu Festival in Kerala

As mentioned before, the Aaarattu Festival is more of a ritual than a festival connected to the temple festivals in Kerala. The custom has been traditionally observed ever since the festivals were celebrated. However, at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram,this religious rite is observed with so much ceremonial elegance and splendor that it is synonymous with celebrating a festival. The Aarattu Festival in Kerala, therefore, gains greater magnitude at Thiruvananthapuram.

Description of the Aarattu Festival in Kerala

The unique feature of the Aarattu Festival, as celebrated at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, is that when the idols are taken for the holy bath, the head of the royal family of the erstwhile state of Travancore accompanies the procession. It is a very grand procession that is sure to impress one with its magnificence. Then, the idols are taken to the Shankumugham Beach and given a purifying bath in the sea.

The Aarattu Festival is also celebrated at the Sree Krishnaswamy Temple at Ambalapuzha with much brilliance, even though it does not match the celebrations at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Here the festival begins with a flag hoisting ceremony. Apart from the traditional holy bath of the idol, an important feature of the festival as celebrated in this temple is that Ambalapuzha Palpayasam, a sweet dish, is always offered to the lord.

When Aarattu Festival is Celebrated in Kerala

The Aarattu Festival is celebrated twice each year. It is once celebrated in the months of October - November and yet again in March - April. On both occasions, this festival lasts for ten days.

Places to Visit during Aarattu Festival in Kerala

Kerala is home to numerous temples and beautiful tourist places that gives you a unique traveling experience. You know what? During this ten days festival of Kerala, some places are well decorated where visitors can visit. We have curated a list of tourist attractions where you can visit during the Aarattu festival.

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