The 10-day annual festival at Sree Parthasarathy Temple on the banks of river Pampa at Aranmula began with the Kodiyettu ceremony on Friday forenoon.
A preparations for the Kodiyettu ceremony began with a ceremonial procession from the Vilakkumadom Temple at Edayaranmula, two kilometres away from Aranmula, in the morning.
The Tantri (chief priest), Neelakantan Bhattathiri of Paramboor Illom, assisted by Melsanthi (head priest), P. Kesavan Namboodiri, performed rituals at the sanctum sanctorum and before the gold-plated temple
mast as a prelude to the flag hoisting ceremony in the auspicious muhurthom between 10 am and 10.44 am.
The ceremonial flag was hoisted at 10.16 pm amidst loud chants of Krishna bhajans by hundreds of present there.
Mr. K.Sivadasan Nair, MLA, Mr. K.Abu, Deputy Commissioner of Travancore Devaswom Board and Mr. M. Prakash, devaswom administrative officer, were among those who attended the function.
District Superintendent of Police, K. Sanjaykumar, inaugurated the Annadanam by lighting a ceremonial lamp immediately after the Utchapuja at the temple, later.
A cultural meeting was also held as part of the annual festival on Friday. Mr. K. Sivadasan Nair, Mr. K.C. Rajagopalan, MLAs, Ms. S. Lalithambika, District Collector, Mr. P.V. Nalinakshan Nair, Devaswom
Commissioner, Mr. P.N. Suresh, Vasthu Vidya Gurukulam Executive Director and Mr. P.S. Nair, Central Travancore Development Council chairman, addressed the meet.
Vaishnavites regard Sree Parthsarathay Temple as one among the 108 Tirupatis (ancient Maha Vishnu temples) in the country.
The auspicious Utsavbali as part of the festival will be performed after the Utchapuja from Saturday to January 16.
Recital of Pancharatna Keerthanom was also held at the temple on Friday.
The ceremonial procession carrying Garudavahanam as part of the festival will be held in the early morning hours of January 13.
The ritualistic Pallivetta procession will be held on January 16 and the 10-day festival will come to a close with the Arattu ceremony on January 17 afternoon.