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Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple arattu

Category - Festivals

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple arattu


Pallivetta (Royal hunt) and Arattu (Holy bath) are two important rituals held as part of the festivals in some of the major temples in Kerala. This video captures some awe inspiring moments of the Arattu ritual of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple held at Shanghumugham beach in Thiruvananthapuram.

The uniqueness of the Arattu at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is that the head of the royal family of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom still escorts the idols during the procession donning his traditional attire. During Pallivetta the head of the royal family shoots a tender coconut using a bow and arrow. This ritual is symbolic of Lord Vishnu (the presiding deity of the shrine) hunting down the demon of evil in a forest and is held in front of the Sundravilasam Palace inside the Thiruvananthapuram fort. The Pallivetta is held on the eve of Arattu.

The Arattu procession takes place in the late afternoon. Images of Sree Padmanabhaswamy, Sree Krishna and Sree Narasimha are carried along the three miles route to the shores of the Arabian Sea, at Shanghumukham, escorted by members of the royal family and armed police contigents. These customs and traditions have been practised down the centuries. The images are given a ritual bath in the sea after prescribed poojas.

A procession in the light of traditional torches, escorts the purified idols back to the temple, marking the conclusion of the grand festival.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a huge structure located in the heart of the city with a 100 feet gopuram (tower). This richly sculptured structure was renovated in 1733. The presiding deity Sree Padmanabhaswamy is Lord Vishnu, reclining on the serpent 'Anantha'. The temple has a blend of Dravidian and Kerala architecture and sprawls over a vast area. The entry to the shrine is restricted to only Hindus.
 

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