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  • The Sarkara Devi Temple Pongala Festival 2017 will be on 13th February !!!
  • The Sarkara Devi Temple Kaliyoottu Festival 2017 will be on 17th February !!!

Festivals

MEENA BHARANI

The Meenabharani festival is the annual festival in the temple of Sarkara Devi. This festival often falls on the occasion of the annual special pooja of Attavishesham. During the period of king Dharma Raja and his successor Marthanda Varma , orders were given for the elaborate conduct of the festival and the expenses like paddy, incurred for the same were recorded . The festival of Meenabharani is celebrated for ten days and it is believed that on the tenth day the benevolent Goddess appears and showers her blessings on the devotees. The Meenabharani festival generally starts with Kodiyettu (flag hoisting), nine days before the asterism of Bharani which is considered as the birth star of Sarkaradevi. It ends on the tenth day with Arat (holy immersion) of the deity in the temple pond. There are very interesting ceremonies associated with this festival. On all days recital of the exploits of the Goddess is staged by special teams of people. On the ninth day an important function is conducted in this temple known as Pallivetta. It is believed that during this function Sarkaradevi disappears from the temple and she went for hunting. The Goddess is taken in procession as for hunting with the accompaniment of five caparisoned elephants and firetorches to the Bhagavathy palace. Through this hunting she tried to avoid powers of malice and maintain peace and security in this vicinity. During the earlier period animal sacrifices were conducted along with this performance. How ever animal sacrifices were avoided during the later periods. Now this function ends with the return procession of the deity and the cutting of a coconut with a bow and arrow. After that the ceremonial Arat of the deity is conducted.

KALIYOOTTU

The festival of kaliyoot falls on the Malayalam month of kumbham (March). Kali, the Mother of Goddess is the deity of farmers. It is evident from the inclusion of the fictitious interpretations of agricultural art traditions in the rituals of the art form of Kaliyoot. Kaliyoot is the dramatic presentation of the genesis of Bhadrakali and Darika the representatives of good and evil respectively, their confrontation and later the extermination of Darika in devotional terms and with rhythmic footsteps.

The fact that the Kaliyoot is a synthesis of older agrarian art tradition is further established by the time chosen for performing Kaliyoot after Makara Koithu (the Malayalam month of Makaram corresponds to March and in the season of the second harvest season in kerala. Koithu is a Malayalam term for harvest ) and that Kali appears under the guise of a pulaya (the pulaya caste is the traditional agricultural labouring community in Kerala.) girl in the Kali drama.

The object of Kaliyoot festival is to offer the elementary harvest to the Amma (the divine Mother), the defender of the land. The ritual art of Kaliyoot which was originally celebrated in North Malabar to propitiate Goddess Kali was brought to Travancore and that too to the Sarkara Temple by King Marthanda Varma (1729 - 1758). There is a historical legend connected with it.

For expanding the domain of this kingdom, Marthanda Varma Maharaja tried to capture Kayamkulam province several times. All his efforts were in vain and he felt disappointed. But he did not give away his ambition. His one and only motive was the defeat of Kayamkulam Raja. With the unyielding desire he was forced to make another arrangement for a war. On his way to Kayamkulam it is said that he chose the big ground near the Sarkara temple to take rest. Learning the arrival of Maharaja in their mace, that leaders of the place or Karakkar and Kalarigurukkals assembled together to have a glimpse of the Maharaja. Hearing the Raja's stories of defeat at Kayamkulam, they suggested that the only way to his triumph was to offer a Kaliyoot to Sarkaradevi. In conformity with their suggestion the Maharaja decided to offer Kaliyoot to Sarkaradevi.