Konganpada is a great festival of historical importance, celebrated in the Bhagavathy temple at Chittur, ten kms from Palakkad town. It is held every year on the first Monday after the new moon night in Kumbhom ( February – March), to commemorate the victory of nairs of Chittur over the militia of Konganadu ( Coimbatore) led by the Chola King, Rajadhi Raja.
The festival starts with ‘Chilambu’ on Sivarathri in Kumbhom which reminds Kongan’s (Chola King’s) declaration of war and the frightened people worshipping Bhagavathy and besearching her help.
There is an ancient Jain temple at Jainamedu, near Palakkad town. According to a legend, one sutar (head of the Jains)built this temple 500 years ago for the Jain stage, Chandranathaswamy. The Jains who came here from Mysore fled from this place during the invasion of Tipu Sultan.
To invoke the blessings of Nellikulangara Bhagavathy, the people of Vellangi and Nenmara conduct a festival on 20th Meenam (March – April) every year. This is the famous Vellangi Vela. This beautiful temple is in the Vellangi village of Chittur taluk.
The flag hoisting ceremony in connection with the vela is held jointly by the residents of Vellangi and Nenmara on 9th Meenam. On all days following the flag hoisting till the eve of the vela, Kummatti, Karivela, Andivela and similar other folk rituals are performed. These three ceremonies together are known as Kanyar. The pomp and splendour of the festival would put it in second place, perhaps only to the Pooram festival of Thrissur.
Ottappalam Nercha Festival:
Juma prayers are held in Ottappalam mosque on Fridays. To commemorate the death anniversary of a saintly person by name Uthaman Auliya, an annual festival is held in January – February. The special feature of this festival is the grand procession which ceremoniously brings various things such as rice, coconuts etc. to the mosque as offerings. On the next day, a feast is held where the various articles received will be cooked and distributed to the poor.
Sivarathri festival at Kallekulangara Bhagavaty Temple:
This festival is conducted for nine days and ends with an arat of the diety Hemambika in Kalpathy River.
Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy temple is the oldest Siva temple in Malabar. H. Kombi Achan, then Raja of Palakkad, built it in 1425 A.D.
Kalpathy is linked to Kasi, because the main diety is Siva and the temple is on the banks of the Neela Nadhi just as Kasi is on the banks of the Ganges.
The other deities consecrated in the temple are Sri visalakshi Sametha Viswanatha Swamy, Vinayaka, Valli Devayani Sametha Subramanya Swamy, Gangadhara, dakshinayana Murthy, Simhanasundari, Nataraja, Surya Bhavara, Kala Bhairavan, Chandikeswaran, Nandeeswaran and Pradesh Handi.
The rituals in the temples were conducted earlier by Kerala Brahmins, the Nambudiries. But now, Tamil Brahmins are in charge. The centre of attraction of the festival is Kalp[athy Sri Viswanatha Swamy temple. The festival is celebrated in the month of November.
On the seventh day (28th day of Alpasi), the diety from Viswanatha Swamy temple is taken out and installed in the chariot. There are three chariots in this temple; one for the main dioety Shri Viswanatha Swamy and Goddess Parvathy, the second for Visweswara and the third for Lord Subramanya Swamy.
The important festival at Manappullikavu at Yakkara is the annual Vela.
Arat Festival in Kachamkurichy Temple:
Kachamkurichy Temple is an important Vishnu temple. The Arat festival here in the month of May attracts many people.
Navarathri Festival in Pallavur Siva Temple, Amavasi Festival in Thrippallur Sive Temple, Pooram Festival in Kongad Bhagavathy Temple and Radhotsavam at Kodumbu Subramanya Temple are some of the important festivals, which attract a large number of devotees. Mahamakom is also held in the Kodumbu temple once in twelve years.
“Unless you are prepared to take risks,
you will do nothing, have nothing and be nothing.”