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 the temple.
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 a 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 a 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 5 pm and a 21 gun salute is made. On reaching the beach the ceremonial bath is taken in the sea.