English Malayalam

The major-most festival here is "Ooroottu' which literally means feeding the land.  Free feast provided to devotees on festival days makes it meaningful.  The festival starts on Thiruvonam day in Meenam.  The deity is ceremoniously installed at 'Pachappandal' made of fresh palm leaves on the north-east of Sreekovil.  Facing the 'Pandal', Devi's legendary tale is rendered by traditional singers known as 'Asans' on all festive days.  Listening to these songs that narrate Kannaki's intense love and longing for Palakan and her revengeful fury against the Pandya King is believed to be propitious, especially to women folk.  Special poojas are also conducted commemorating the momentous occasions in the saga of Bhadrakali.


On the sixth day of the festival, a replica of the idol is carried atop an elephant and taken around the area accompanied by drumbeats, nadaswaram, percussion and throngs of devotees.  It is also called 'Parakkezhunnallippu' denoting the offerings of raw rice in 'para', a tradition measure.  As the procession reaches each home, the family propitiates the deity with utmost devotion. As an old saying goes, Attukal 'Ponkala' and Mukkolackal 'Parakkezhunnallathu' are equally unique.  Besides raw rice, other offerings include sarkara, sugar and turmeric, reminding the harvest rituals of ancient Kerala.  The procession returns to the temple the next morning.

Kuthiyottam and Processsion:

The night witnesses a fascinating procession with a fabulous audio-visual pageantry as Bhagavathi is carried atop a tusker accompanied by devotional fervour.  Special to Devi shrines, the 'Kuthiyottam' boys add to the traditional flavour, while attired in her finest, Devi provides a soulful sublimity to the proceedings.  The procession reaches the sacred Dharmasastha Temple at Manacaud when there will be a pooja before it restarts.  Returning to the original abode, the idol is taken back to the 'Sreekovil' on the day of 'Bharani' star.  The same night, there will be 'Gurusi', a sacrificial ritual, denoting the finale of the festival.  Ageold temple arts are performed on all festive days making them memorable for the young and old alike.

1.'Aadi Chovva':

Tuesdays are celebrated in 'Aadi or Karkitakom', the last month of Malayalam year, with music programmes.  Seasoned singers perform at the temple premises as part of their offering to Mukkolackal Devi.  In recent years, Fridays are also included in the festival with the active participation of classical vocalists and percussionists of repute.  The last Friday is exclusively for the recitation of 'Ramayana' followed by 'Pattabhishekom'.

2.'Vinayaka Chathurthi':

On 'Vinayaka Chathurthi', the birthday of Lord Ganesha, special rituals are held such as 'Ashtadravya Mahaganapathi Homam' supplemented by other favourite offerings.

3.'Navaratri and Vijayadashami':

'Navaratri' is celebrated on a large scale with traditional programmes such as arranging 'Golubommas' and conducting song and dance items.  Books and other tools associated with learning are worshipped and on the 'Vijayadashami' day, several children are initiated into the world of letters and knowledge.

4. 'Mandala Chirappu':

Special poojas are conducted on fortyone days from 'Vrichikom' first each year by local families.  On the fortysecond day 'Laksharchana' is held followed by 'Kathakali' performance by eminent artistes.

5. 'Ayilya Pooja'

On the day of 'Ayilyam' star every month, special poojas are held.  'Naagar', the Serpent God is offered 'noor and milk' besides 'abhishekam'.  A large number of devotees attend the ritual and seek Naagar's blessings.  Free feeding ('annadanam') is also arranged on the day.

6. 'Suvasini Pooja'

This rare pooja is held on the last Friday of every Malayalam month.  Only women, particularly virgins, partake in it which is considered to bring good fortune to them.  The group prayer is also believed to ensure marital bliss and family well-being.

7..'Sree Vidyaraja Gopala Manthrarchana':

This is a unique 'archana' intended to evoke the blessings of learning for students of every rank.  Aspiring students assemble on a particular day in the month of 'Karkitakom' and engage themselves in chanting this 'manthra' and performing 'archana'.

8. 'Sree Lalitha Sahasranama Kodiarchana':

This 'Yajnam' is conducted once in three years.  Devotees participate in it in large numbers and seek Devi's blessings.  The other rituals include 'Sahasra Kalashabhishekom', 'Sreemad Bhagavatha Saptaham', 'Sreemad Devi Bhagavatha Navaha Yajnam' and 'Sahasra Naleekera Havanam' which are held mostly in the month of 'Karkitakom'.

          Thanthri    -  Muttalamatom Brahmasri Subramanyaru
          Melsanthi -   Dhumman Perikamana Narayanan Namboodiri

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