The Paripally Galamela is celebrated at Paripally, 48 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram. During this elephant fair over 50 elephants are taken out on a ritual procession on the tenth day of the festival.
Description of Paripally Gajamela
The Paripally Gajamela takes place at the Paripally Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakaali Temple. The elephant procession takes place on the tenth day of the annual festivities at the temple. A unique practice observed during these festivities is the ritual offering of elephants to deities as Nercha- offering. It is a popular belief that an offering of elephants satisfies the deity and grants all the wishes of the devotees. The festival is punctuated by cultural programs and culminates in the Paripally Gajamela- the mega elephant pageant held as part of the annual festival on the tenth day of festivities at the Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakaali Temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. About a 100 gorgeously caparisoned elephants are lined up for the event. Gaja is Sanskrit means elephant and Mela means pageant of fair to be more precise- hence the name gajamela.
Most Hindu religious festivals of Kerala feature spectacular elephant processions. The pooram and vela festivals are the best occasions to watch the majestic tuskers when they are taken out in their entire caparisoned splendor. During the festival, colorfully decked up elephants, numbering fifteen to hundred or more, line up on the temple premises. With mahouts atop them, holding high tinselled silk parasols (muthukuda) and swaying white tufts (venchamaram) and peacock feather fans (aalavattom) to the rhythm of the temple orchestra.