The annual Padayani festival at the ancient Kadalimangalam Devi Temple at Venpala near Thiruvalla will be held from March 9 to 20.

Addressing a prèss conference here on Friday, the Padayani organising committee leaders of Eruvellipra-Thengeli Padayani Karayogam, R.S.Kurup and Santhosh Ancheril, said the ritualistic Choottuvaipu ceremony began with the sacred fire brought from the sanctum sanctorum of Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple, earlier, on February 26.

According to them, the Padayani kolam performance will begin with the `Ezhuthi-thullal’ and `Panchakolam’ on March 9.

The `Cheriya Edappadayani’ and `Valiya Edappadayani’ will be held on March 11 and 13. The ritualistic `Adavi’, `Nirthu-padayani’ and Mangala-kolam performance of the Eruvellipara-Thengeli group will be held on March 15, 17 and 18 respectively.

Two padayani committees in the villages of Venpala and Eruvellipra-Thengeli are jointly organising the annual festival that ends on the Bharani asterism in the Malayalam month of Meenom.

The two padayani karayogams will stage their Padayani kolam performace on alternate days from March 9, Mr Santhosh said.

Ceremonial procession

The organisers said a ceremonial procession of different kinds of Padayani kolams (masks), with the accompaniments of traditional temple percussion, `thalappoli’ and `karakom’, will be held as part of the `Nirthu Padayani’ on March 17 evening.

The procession will begin from the Subrahmanya Swami Temple at Eruvelipra to the Kadalinmangalam temple after the deeparadhana at 7.30 pm, they said.

The Padayani festival will come to a close with the `Koodi-thullal’ on the Meena-Bharani day on March 20.

Artistes to be honoured Mr Santhosh said veteran Padayani artistes, Vadasseril Parameswaran Pillai, Kailath Sukumara Pillai, and A.K.Chakrapani, would be honoured during the annual festival.

Devotees may contact the organisers (9447784792, 9048347936) for Padayani kolam performance during these days, he added.

Keywords: KeralaPadayani festival