Kerala: A temple festival

Another first. Visited Acchan’s family deity’s festival: the “Kalaripaatu”. This is an annual affair held over four days, complete with a pachyderm, piety, panchavadyam and payasam. Apparently in the days of yore, acchan’s father has conducted kalaripaatu with seven elephants! Evenings would see locals setting up stalls of various kinds in the temple grounds, and kids would run around buying bangles and balloons. Time, resources and recessions have taken its toll. So i have only witnessed a whittled down version. But interesting to my urban eyes all the same.

K would’ve be a better person to tell the tale, but I have little patience, and want to put up the photos fast. Hence this really brief background.


The pujari here is also an artist. He crafted this Ganesha out of sandalwood paste with finely-cut leaves for the eyes, and other decorations.


Women assemble at the left door of the kalari for the “brahmanipaatu”. Women are not allowed into the Kalari.


I’m not much of a devotee but piously did light some lamps around the temple 🙂


Cleaned-up vilaku (lamps) await the evening sun to set…


…before coming out in all its glory 🙂


About whizkid

Photographer. Procrastinator.
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4 Responses to Kerala: A temple festival

  1. Kannan says:

    Some additions and some corrections. After the tharavadu was divided into four houses, the festival was conducted by each houses in turn. So Kizhake Tharamel, to which my father belongs, used to hold it once in four years. The glory started waning once branches got separated into nuclear families.
    I remember seeing three elephants for Kalarippattu and three day-long ‘trinket’ sales. Being a matrilineal family, my grandfather might not have run the show. Though he might have financed it, it was run by my father’s uncles.

  2. whizkid says:

    thanks for filling in… 🙂
    (i know you should have written this piece)

  3. RS says:

    Great pictures! Haven’t been to Kerala (Palakkad) in over four years… But it certainly didn’t look so pretty. Will keep an eye out the next time.

  4. Pingback: Vishu. And i realised… « *

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