Staff Reporter

Veteran Padayani artistes will be honoured during the annual festival.

PATHANAMTHITTA: The annual Padayani festival at the Kadalimangalam Devi temple, 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 had begun with the sacred fire brought from the sanctum sanctorum of Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple on February 26.

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 Eruvellipra-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 would stage their Padayani kolam performance 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' would be held as part of the ‘Nirthu Padayani' on March 17 evening.

The procession would be taken out from the Subrahmanya Swami temple at Eruvellipra to the Kadalimang alam 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 ( ph: 9447784792, 9048347936) for Padayani kolam performance during these days, he added.