The flag-hoisting ceremony that marks the start of the famed ‘koda’ festival at the Mandaikadu devi temple, Colachel, Tamil Nadu, was held on Sunday, ahead of the main festival scheduled for March 12.
Thousands of devotees from the State and parts of Tamil Nadu witnessed temple tantri Edakkode Mahadevaru lead the ceremony that began at 8 a.m.
The ‘koda’ festival is the largest organised by the Mandaikadu temple.
Legend has it that the temple, then part of the Travancore kingdom, was consecrated by Parasurama. The temple rituals are conducted in the traditional tantric stream of Kerala.
Close to 4 lakh devotees are expected to visit the temple during the 10-day festival.
The Tamil Nadu government had made the necessary arrangements, expecting heavy rush.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation will operate special services between Thiruvananthapuram and Mandaikadu.