Photograph courtesy: keralatourism.org

Photograph courtesy: keralatourism.org

Kerala is one of the most beautiful destinations in India and is home to some of the most pristine beaches, backwaters, tea estates and temples. Kerala is known as God’s own Country for its natural beauty and for it’s breathtaking temples. One such temple is located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. The Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple is located in the Thirunakkara region of Kottayam. Also Read - Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Key Candidates in Chalakudy, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha Seats in Kerala



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It is one of the most revered Shiva temples Kerala. Perched on top of the Nakkara Kunnu hill, the temple gets it’s name from Thiru-Nakkara which roughly translates to Sacred Nakkara Hill. Also Read - Protesting nuns accuse Bishop Mulakkal of interfering in Jalandhar diocese functioning



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The Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple annually hosts the Thirunakkara Arattu festival which also hosts one one of the most magnificent elephant pageants in Kerala. The 10-day festival is dedicated to Shiva and is a celebration of his wedding to Parvati. Another reason to celebrate the festival is to signify the day Shiva performed the tandava. The last day of the festival is celebrated on March 14 this year. Preparations are on and the the puja is scheduled for this afternoon.

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The 10-day festival concludes with the Arattu when the final maha-aarti is performed, thousands of devotees visit the temple and offer their prayers to the god and also offer milk to Shiva. Post this, an elaborate procession is carried out with a palanquin with the temple deity taken around the town. The palanquin is surrounded by several musicians, percussionists, Mayilattom dancers and Kathakali dancers and nine elaborately decorated elephants lead the procession.

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