Chettikulangara Kumbha Bharani

Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi temple is one of the most renowned temples in Kerala. The temple is located at Chettikulangara in Mavelikkara taluk of Alappuzha District in the south Indian state of Kerala. This annual festival held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham at the Chettikulangara temple is one of the most well-known festivals of Kerala. The festival and the temple are dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy. Almost all the folk art forms of South Kerala are presented at the temple during the festival. For the Kathakali buffs the all-night Kathakali performance becomes the most awaited thing to do.Chettikulangara Bharani festival is the grand festival associated with this place which attracts thousands of devotees every year in the state.

Kumbha Bharani Festival Celebration

The major festival at Chettikulangara is Kumbha Bharani. This is celebrated in the month of March or April. The date is determined according to the Malayalam Calendar KollaVarsham.The Chettikulangara Bharani is in the month of Kumbha and the day which has the star Bharani and hence the name Kumbha Bharani. The highlight of the festival is Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha.

The preparation for Kumbha Bharani starts days before the actual day and usually that day will be the Shivarathi. People who had promised for Kuthiyottam will start training their children for the offering on that day. All these days these people will host public get-togethers and arrange food for them. The children will be taught a special dance steps called Kuthiyoota chuvadukal.Meanwhile the people from 13 karas of chettikulangara will arrange for the construction of Kettukazhcha to the temple.

The Kuthiyottam processions starts early morning on that day and will last until afternoon. Those who had offered Kuthiyottam to Devi will bring their children to the temple as a procession and will offer the children before Devi as sacrifice. The boys will be playing the Kuthiyootam dance before the Devi. During the evening hours it will be turn of the Kettukazhcha. People from each area will pull the Kettukazhcha from the construction sites to the temple to preset them before the Devi and after having view or darshan. The parties take up their respective position in the paddy fields lying east of the temple

During the night, the image of Devi is carried in procession to the Kettukazhcha stationed in the paddy fields. On the next day these structures will be taken back. A big bazaar known as Bharani Chanda is also held at Chetikulangara as part of this festival.

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