करंट टॉपिक्स

‘Neelamperoor Padayani – A great traditional fest of Kerala; celebrates ‘Swadheenta Ka Amritavarsh’

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Neelamperoor, far boundary of Kottayam District, Kerala a typical magical swans and effigies of different Goddesses comes alive by human dance form, in all its majestic grandeur and bursts in vibrant colours once in a year at Neelamperoor Temple, as it celebrates a grand festival which is nothing short of a spectacular magical celebration for villagers -the ‘Neelamperoor Padayani’- which is a 2000year old celebration of culture and mythology.

The ecstatic event occurs at ‘Palli Bhagavathi Temple’ (Temple of sleepy Devi Durga) in Neelamperoor, which is believed to be started before around 1850 years, the Padayani festival falls in the Malayalam Kerala year Chingam month, (August/September) and involves the celebration of self in carnation and mythology of Devi coming out for People.

Major highlights of the Padayani festival is the ‘Kettukazhcha’ (Devine dancing pattern worn by ritually ‘vrata’ taken people, highly devinated by holding strict rules of brahmacharya) which involves the parading of exceptionally decorated huge effigies of Goddesses and swans.

Festivities are only during night falls till dawn, and this adds to the thrill of inner dance. The grounds of the temple are set afire and get draped in a rare festive splendour.

The Padayani celebrations begin right after the ‘Thiruvonam’ star astrologically one among 28 stars coming in a chandra (moon) month, that is on the ‘Avittam’ day, and continues till the Pooram star which marks the birthday of the Bhagavaty (Devi Durga).

This year organisers of Pooram Padayani, brought an important effigy of ‘Bharat Mata’ as Bharatamba Kolam – which made it a highly attractive event. The Bharatamba Kolam was made on the same method and manner of Kolam preparation with all its devotions and devinations. The manner of making of such effigies are highly ritual.

The highly organic festival where all the effigies are decorated with natural materials such as Ixora flowers, lotus leaves, Coconut Palm leaf, the stem of plantain etc.

Huge effigies of mythical characters are taken out to parade before the deity. These imposing figurines of mythological characters such as Bhima, Ravan and Yakshi crafted in vivid and mesmerising colours are carried by devotees to the accompaniment of soul stirring percussion music and they dance to the beats of the music in an attempt to propitiate the deity. Bharatamba Kolam was added to these to commemorate the reawakening of India after freedom especially during recent years.

The arrival of the effigies is punctuated by the breath-taking display of fireworks which renders a phenomenal charm to the festival. ‘Bharatamba Kolam (effigy of Bharat Mata) also has been welcomed by adorers of Padayani effigies.

The face of these effigies is decorated brilliantly and is an artwork in itself. It features exceptional craft and is painted with a brilliance that reflects the artistic acumen of the people.

Another highlight of Neelamperoor Padayani is the procession of the effigies of swans.

It is the arrival of the huge swans that the devotees wait for. These swans can be as big as twenty feet and their arrival is greeted with much fanfare. The festivities reach a crescendo as these gigantic swans are brought before the deity.

Anyhow from this year on wards memories of our great freedom fighters will take a place among ritually rich 2000year old Neelamperoor Padayani culture.

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