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Neelamperoor Pooram Padayani

Neelamperoor Pooram Padayani is one of the famous festivals celebrated in the Indian state of Kerela and is considered to be an important remainders of the Buddhist culture in India. This festival is hosted at the Neelamperoor Pally Bhagavathi Temple which is situated in a village known as Kuttanadtaluk in the district named Alappuzha in Kerela. The main divinity of this 1700 year old temple is Goddess Vanadurgaalso known as Maa Kali.  The memorial of the former king of Travancore is found towards the western part of the temple. Devotees usually offer coconut water pudding to the main deity of the temple.

TheNeelamperoorPooramPadayani manifestly shows a blend of both Buddhist as well as Hindu cultures. This is a very colorful festival during which the entire temple premise is decorated very beautifully. Statues of Bhima, swans, yakshi and elephant dummies are used for beautifying the occasion. This festival begins on Avittomi.e the day next to Thiruvonam, in the month of Chingam as per the Malayalam calendar. The festival starts at 10 p.m. A parade known as Padayani is one of the main celebration during the festival. This march symbolizes Goddess Kali’svictory over Darika. The parade begins as the village people gather with few dry leaves of coconut lighted, known as choottu. They move ahead raising the choottu blissfully.


The NeelamperoorPooramPadayani Festival celebrated at the Neelamperoor Pally Bhagavathi Temple in Kerela has a sporadic significance as it shows an exclusive fusion of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures. This festival has been a subject of interest for many research scholars from all over the country. The rituals performed during the festival show a great similarity with the festival observed by the Chinese traveler Fahiyan in Padaliputraor Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.  It also reminds of the services held at a Buddhist center Sreemoolavarom in Kerela. The images and statues used to decorate the temple are made by excellent craftsmen. The devotees offer beautiful statues of Yakshi, Ravana, Bhima, elephant, swans etc. in order to fulfill their desires. The big swan is constructed in the temple campus and around 1 lac INR are consumed in its construction. There is a remarkable rise each year in the cost involved in conducting the holy march Padyani. Raising the required funds has become a challenge for the organizers now. Various organizations and local people donate some amount of money which is used in making the arrangements for the festival.


Legend says that Lord Kali defeated Darika and on the avittam day the symbolic parade Padyani is carried out to celebrate this victory. At 10:p.m this march starts.Beginning with prayer services, priests pass the flames to the devotees and they burn coconut leaves bundles with these flames. Devotees move forward towards the monument of CheramanPerumal with the lighted coconut bundles raised as torch. Padyani is continued for the first four days of the festival. The next four days of the festival are portrayed as the Kudapadayani that involved illustrating the shape of umbrellas that are made of coconut leaves, with flowers. During the next four days that is from 8th to the 12th day, effigies are offered which are made up of green leaves of the jackfruit trees. Especially on the 12th day the effigies made of trimmed coconut stems or fibrous plantains stem are displayed. During the last two days the swans are displayed which are made up of coconut leaves and very well decorated with flowers. Devotees offer the big swan in order to mollify the deity. This is the main focus of the 12th day of the celebrations.

Ultimately a coconut is broken and turned round by the smith on the final day and some predictions are made on the basis of that coconut. Same day at 10 p.m. the temple gets closed with the initiation of "Kudampooja".

Thothakali which is a traditional dance done on the drum beats and the rhythm of the folk songs is the main characteristics of the Padynai, the symbolic march. The crowd of the devotees scatters once the Padyani is completed. A special devotee who has been chosen for undergoing severities for some days by reparation and meditation offers the Gurusi. All the devotees gather around the big fire and dance along with winding small clothes very creatively. Audiences from different parts of thecountry visit this place to view this exclusive practice of art.  The big swan made up to the height of the forty five feet is the main attraction for the local people as well as for the visitors. The beauty is elaborated by the smaller swans and other effigies which are also very well decorated.

Padayaniprogramme Schedule

The Padyani has been scheduled for twelve days. During the first four days ChootuPadyani takes place.  The next four days are been scheduled for the Kudapadayani that involves floral decorations of the umbrella shapes made up of coconut leaves. The eighth to twelfth days are characterized by the offering of the effigies which are made from jackfruit leaves and tender coconut tree stems.  During the last two days the swans (known as Annams) are displayed. These are made up of slender coconut tree leaves and plantain stems.

Getting There

Kottayam is the nearest railway station that is a distance 16 kilometers and Cochin International Airport located at a distance of 76 kilometers is the closest airport.

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