Chettikulangara Devi Temple
One of the renowned Devi temples in Kerala is Chettikulangara temple, Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. Highlights of Bharani festival, celebrated in February-March, are Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha. Of these , the former is performed as an offering to Bhagavathy.
The man who makes the offering teaches an adolescent boy religious rites for seven days from Sivarathri day (in February) to Bharani asterism, During the period the boy will have to observe fast. On Bharani morning, after feast and other rituals, the boy with his body coiled with silver wires is taken in procession to the temple with accompaniment of percussion. On the way to the temple, tender coconut water will be sprinkled on the boy. Later the boy dances facing the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum).
Mannarsala Temple, Harippad
Mannarasala temple at Harippad is the seat of God of Serpents. Built in a grove, the temple is reputed for having 30,000 images of snake-gods and this is the largest of its kind in the state.
On the day of Ayilliam asterism in the Malayalam months of Kanni and Thulam (September and October), all the serpent idols in the grove and the temple are taken in procession to illam ( the house connected with the temple) where Nurum Palum (rice flour and milk), Kuruthi (a red liquid made of turmeric and lime), offerings are made.
Attukal Bhagavathi Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy temple (Mudippura), knows as the Sabarimala of women, is in Thiruvananthapuram. Attukal Ponkala, the annual festival commences on Bharani day in Kumbhom (February – March) and continues for nine days. Ponkala is an offering usually made in Bhagavathy temples, prepared in the form of payasam ( a liquid food in Kerala), ingredients are rice, jaggery, coconut kernel and plantain fruits. The festival begins with thottampattu (a song about Bhagavathy) which is being chanted for nine days continuously.
Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple
The temple dedicated to Sree Krishna is at Thrichambaram, Kannur, 14-kms from Pappinisserry railway station. The fortnight festival begins on 22nd Kumbham (February – March). Another temple dedicated to Sree Balarama ( believed to be the brother of Lord Krishna) is at Mazhoor, Thrichambaram. On the first day, the idol of Balarama is taken out in procession from Mazhoor temple and brought to the Thrichambaram temple.
Sree Vallabha Temple, Thiruvalla
The temple, 3-kms away from Thiruvalla Railway Station, have many deities though it is dedicated Lord Vishnu. The temple compound houses a tank supposed to be a natural one. The 50- feet high flag post is granite. An idol of garuda, vehicle of Lord Vishnu, is fixed atop the flag post.
Subrahmania Swamy Temple, Haripad
One of the oldest, most important temples devoted to Lord Subramania is on Kollam-Alapuzha highway. The Subrahmania idol with four arms is the biggest of its kind designed after the sculptural pattern of the Buddhist period. It is believed that the idol was worshipped by Lord Parasurama and was obtained from a river.
Regatta at River Paipad is conducted commemorating the idol recovery. As many as three festivals are celebrated in this temple, of which Chithira festival in Medom( April-May) is the most important. The procession with the golden peacock throne is quite attractive.
Bhagavathi Temple, Kodungallor
Kodungaloor, the ancient capital of Kerala, is 35 kms north-west of Ernakulam, has a hoary past. From the days of recorded history, Kodungalloor, then a trade emporium in India, had been a maritime port of international repute. The city had been a beehive of activities and had trade relations with West as well as Middle-East.
Today, the city is a great pilgrim centre. Bharani festival held in the Bhagavathi temple here is a big devotee draw.
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple
A big pilgrim draw, Guruvayoor is known as Kasi of South. Round the year devotees throng to worship Guruvayoorappan, little Krishna, the reigning deity.
The 16 th century poet Narayana Bhattathiri, fallen with rheumatic pain sought relief from Guruvayrappan. He composed Narayaneeyam. He recovered from disease then after the temple got an aura as a place with healing powers.
Janardhanaswamy Temple, Varkala
Arattu, the annual festival is celebrated every year in March-April commencing with Kodiyettu on Karthika day. Tens of thousands of people attend the festival. Colorful processions are held on all festival days.
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