There are a large number of temples in the beautiful state of Kerala. These temples are the embodiments of the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the land. They stand not merely as places of worship but also as the breeding grounds of various forms of art. The Thirunakara Temple located in the heart of the city of Kottayam is one such temple which attracts a large number of visitors. Even though the temple reflects remarkable architectural dexterity, its chief attraction is the Thirunakara Festival that is held here each year.
Description of the Thirunakara Festival in Kerala
The Thirunakara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. When the Thirunakara Festival is celebrated, devotees from various parts of the state come here to offer their prayers to this important god of the Hindu Pantheon.
On the occasion of the Thirunakara Festival, one gets the wonderful opportunity to witness various programmes put up by folk artistes. Within the premises of the temple, Mayilattom or peacock dance and Velakali are performed by them in the evening. On the third and fourth days of the Thirunakara Festival, Kathakali dance shows are put up by professional artistes and it continues throughout the night.
As is the common trend in India, the premises of the Thirunakara Temple also get converted to a fair ground at the time of the Thirunakara Festival. This colorful and vibrant fair becomes the meeting ground of a large number of people. Many stalls are set up. A large variety of industrial and agricultural products are exhibited at this fair. The ambience is cheerful.
The Thirunakara Festival in Kerala concludes with the Aarattu ceremony or the holy bathing ceremony of the idol of Lord Shiva housed in the Thirunakara Temple. The grand procession begins in the afternoon. The most striking feature of this splendid procession are the nine elephants who are beautifully decorated. The ornamental trappings of the elephants will surely impress you. All in all, the Thirunakara Festival is celebrated in Kottayam, Kerala with a lot of joyous enthusiasm.
Time for celebrating the Thirunakara Festival in Kerala
The Thirunakara Festival is celebrated each year in the state of Kerala in the months of March- April. This annual festival lasts for a period of ten days.