Arattu marks conclusion of Alpasi festival

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Nov. 1. The traditional `Arattu' procession marking the conclusion of the 10-day long Alpasi festival at the Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple was held here on Saturday.

Carrying the `udavaal' or the traditional sword, the head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore, Uthradam Tirunal Marthanda Varma, escorted the deities, Sri Padmanabhswami, Thiruvambadi Krishna and Narasimhamoorthy. The male members of the royal family, temple staff, flag bearers of erstwhile Travancore, caparisoned elephants, mounted police and the police band accompanied the procession.

People in large numbers had gathered on both sides of the road from West fort to Shangumugham where the deities were taken for the `holy dip'.

The ceremonial `Pallivetta', conducted prior to the arattu was held in front of the Sundaravilasom Palace inside the Fort on Friday night. The deities were brought back to the temple after the Arattu and were received by Uthradam Tirunal Marthanda Varma at the West gate of the temple thus marking the culmination of the Alpasi festival in the temple.

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