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Erstwhile Travancore gets ready for inter-state festivities

Staff Reporter
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With the handing of ‘Udaval’ – the sword used by the kings of erstwhile Travancore state which was later dedicated to Padmadhasan (Lord Padmanabha) – by the Kerala administration to the Joint Commissioner of Kanyakumari temple on Wednesday, the inter-state festivities that are part of the Navarathri celebrations begin.

The procession of Goddess Saraswathy, seated on a caparisoned elephant, to Thiruvananthapuram with the ‘guard of honour’ being given by the Kerala police as well as the Tamil Nadu police and organising of ‘Thalapuli’ would mark the beginning of the 10-day festival at the Padmanabhapuram palace.

Hundreds of people from different parts of the district will witness the colourful event as Goddess Saraswathy was worshipped by none other than Kambar in Padmanabhapuram palace, the erstwhile capital of Travancore state.

Speaking to The Hindu, president of Thevarakattu Saraswathy Amman Temple Committee at Padmanabhapuram, G. Balakrishnan Nair said it was one of the most important annual festivals celebrated in Padmanabhapuram palace in the month of ‘Kanni’.

The festival would commence with the procession of the idols of Goddess Saraswathi from Padmanabhapuram Thevarakattu Saraswathi Amman Temple, Lord Velayudha Perumal from Velli Malai Murugan Temple at Kumaracoil and Munnuttinanka from Sthanumalayan Temple at Suchindrum.

The idol of Goddess Saraswathi will be carried on a caparisoned tusker, Lord Velayudha Perumal on a decorated silver horse and Munnuttinanka in a palanquin.

The procession would reach Karamanai at Thiruvananthapuram in the afternoon.

The procession would enter the East Fort gate and halt at the old Padakasala gate of the palace, where offerings would be made by devotees as well as members of the royal family.

The idol of Goddess Saraswathi would be taken inside the palace.

The idol of Lord Velayudha Perumal would be taken to the Aryasala Temple and that of Munnuttinanka idol to the Chenthitta Temple.

At the end of the festivities, the idols would be brought back to the respective temples in Kanyakumari district.

The festivities will come to an end at the historic Thevarakattu Saraswathy Amman Temple, situated within the premises of the Padmanabhapuram palace, with the conduct of ‘Vidyarambam’ (initiation of learning) on October 14.

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