ARATTU at THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
(Sree Padmanabha Temple)
Arattu festival is the closing ceremony
of the ten day festival in the Lord Padmanabha temple at Thiruvananthapuram.
There are two such festivals every year.
One takes place in the Malayalam month of Thulam (October-November)
and the other in Meenam (March-April).
The Arattu is a ceremonial procession of
the Lord at the close of the ten-day-festival. The previous night,
there is a procession called pallivetta inside the fort encircling
On the day of the Arattu, His Highness the
Ex-Maharaja enters the corridor of the temple, and after some rituals,
the procession takes out through the eastern gate with the accompaniment
of nagaswaram, drum etc.
His Highness with sword in hand and escorted
by armed guards, infantry, mounted police, officers etc. leads the
procession to the Sanghumugham beach.
A caparisoned elephant goes in front with
drum on its back, that is beaten to indicate that the God is coming
in procession. Six more caparisoned elephants follow. The procession
leaves the temple gate at about 5pm and a 21 gun salute is made.
On reaching the beach the ceremonial bath is taken in the sea.