The Mahasivrathri Festival at Thrikkuratti Temple
The Mahasivrathri festival at Thrikkuratti Mahadeva temple is different from other temples due to its unique festivities. Though the spectacular and colourful cultural programs are performed by renowned artists during these eleven days, the main emphasis is for Sahasrakalasabishekam, Sivarathri Nrutham and Mahasivarathri Procession.
This is a very special and rare puja conducted during 10 days of Mahasivarathri festival. It is well known that Lord Siva is abhishekapriya (lover of ablutions). Lord Parasurama and Kroshta muni, during their worship of the lord here, are believed to have bathed the deity with Sahasrakalasam or a thousand pots of holy water according to Vedic rites. Now during Mahasivarathri festival days the Head Priest (Thanthri) and his team perform this puja. It is a ten day function, each day an offering of 101 Kalasam or pots of holy water being made 100 pots of Silver and one of Gold at do centre all filled with water and surcharged with mantras recited by learned Brahmins seated on the Mukhamantapam. These are emptied on the deity, the golden pot Brahmakalasam being the last one. A magnificent light is the indication or identity of Lord Shiva and the Shiva Lingam is considered to be the symbol of it. Hence, the formal worship on Maha Shivratri consists of bathing the Shiva Lingam. Lord Shiva is said to be burning with the fire of austerity and so only those items are offered to Him that have a cooling effect. A cool water bath is believed to propitiate Him best. There is a belief among devotees that participation in Sahasrakalam will lead to blessings with prosperity. Hundreds of devotees thronging the shrine with chants of “Namasivaya”, “Hara hara mahadeva”, and “Sambho Mahadeva”.
Sivarathri Nrutham at Thrikkuratti temple, according to religious scholars, resembles with , the cosmic dance of Shiva, called ‘Anandatandava,' meaning, ‘the Dance of Bliss’ symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy - creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. The Priest keeps sheeveli vigraha (idol) fixed on decorated frame on his head. He makes seven rounds on pradakshina vazhi (Holi walkway make of granite around Sanctum Santorum). When fifth round reaches at west nada (Parvathi nada), the door opens for just 10 minutes. This is an annual ceremony. Thousands of Pilgims rush to have a glance of this auspicious moment. At this time all the pradakshina vazhi will be lighted with Camphor and Brass lanterns and hundreds of devotes who spent a sleepless night with chants of “Namasivaya”, “Hara Hara Mahadeva” and “Sambho Mahadeva”. Old people cry “Hara sankara siva sankara duritham kala sivane”. In this enlightened serene mood, the Priest performs Nrutham and runs along pradakshina vazhi towards east nada. Next two rounds he accepts “Valiya kanikka”. The Sivarathri Nrutham is followed by the well known magnificent display of fireworks.Mahasivarathri Procession On Sivarathri day evening a grand procession starts from Kadapra Kainikkara Temple. It includes, several decorated floats, Kaavadi Aaatam, Mayilattom, Amman Kudom, Thaiyyam, Vela kali, Kuthiyotta chuvadu, richly caparisoned elephants and folk art forms etc attracts thousands of devotees and tourists. When the main procession reaches Market Junction, other similar processions from Kurattikkadu Mutharamman Temple, Kurattissery Kannamkavil Mutharamman Temple, Thrippavoor Mahavishnu Temple and Alumoodu Sivaparvathy Temple joins and altogether making the procession quite enlivening. The marvellous as well as magical effect of the Sinakari melam and Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments is to be felt and enjoyed. Among the varieties of festivals celebrated in Kerala, Thrikkuratti Sivarathri Procession is one of the most thunderous, spectacular and dazzling. It is an expression of popular fascination for sound and colour, and because of the pageantry, it appeals to all people including foreigners. Once the procession reaches tample, Deeparadhana followed by colourful display of fireworks.