Caparisoned elephants steel the show at Kerala's temple festival

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Palakkad (Kerala), April 5 (ANI): Nenmara Vallangi Vela, is one of the grandest temple festivals of Kerala, which also described as being second only to the famous annual temple festival Thrissur Pooram.

Nenmara Vallangi Vela is an annual temple festival celebrated in the district of Palakkad in Kerala. In fact, this festival is a competition between Nenmara and Vallangi, the two neighbouring villages of the district.

The festival begins with the traditional flag hoisting ceremony, called as Kodiyettam.

Various art forms like Karivela, Kummatti and Andivelaare are staged during Nenmara Vallangi Vela.

The main event takes place in the evening between two villages of Nenmara and Vallangi Deshams or regions of Palakkad and the annual Vela festival is held as a joint invocation by them to the presiding deity Goddess Bhagavathi of the Nellikkulangara Bhagavathi temple.

The festival is held during Meenam month, as per Malayalam calendar, or between March-April as per Gregorian calendar. It is also an occasion for both the temples to show off their might, be it the elephant pageantry or temple orchestras, which make this festival majestic one.

The Vela is conducted to highlight the meeting of the deities of the Nenmara Bhagavathy temple and Vallangi Shiva temple on the concluding day.

Spectacular processions with ornamentally decorated elephants from the two villages are taken to the Nellikulangara temple, the main venue. On reaching the temple, both sides stand face to face at the Utsavapandal or, festival marquee.

In a competitive spirit, both sides present Panchavadyam and other traditional percussion ensembles.

After performing specific rituals, the grand procession returns to the respective regions and assemble at night at the same place to perform the rest of the part.

The entire ceremony completes with a spectacular firecracker show. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)

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