Sivarathri is one of the 'holiest of nights' for those who profess the Hindu religion. The customs change, so does the rituals as you travel from state to state. In Kerala, it is celebrated across all the major Siva temples. However, we bring you three places in Kerala where the festivities are not just about following the set rituals.
The gathering at Aluva
Thousands gather – from far and away – for the Sivarathri celebrations at the famous Aluva Siva temple. Temporary sheds and shelters are built on the temple grounds for the devotees who come to offer prayers. In addition to the prayers at fixed times through 24 hours, thousands gather here to offer worship to their ancestors. The banks of the Periyar river, where the festival is celebrated, transforms to one busy hub of activity during these days.
Reaching Aluva: Aluva Railway Station is just hop, skip and jump away. Aluva KSRTC Bus Stand is just 1.1 km away. Nearest Airport is Cochin International Airport 13 km away
Worshiping nature at Attappadi
Attappadi, on the north-eastern side of Palakkad district is one of the largest tribal settlements in the State. It is home to the Irulas, the Mudugas and the Kururmbar communities. And you can see the Malleswara Mudi, the highest peak of the Attapadi hills from a distance. On Sivarathri day, the tribal chieftains and a select few climb the peak, light a fire, which, can be seen from as far away as Coimbatore.
Reaching Attappadi: Nearest railway station: Palakkad about 40 km from Mannarkkad and Coimbatore in the neighbouring state of Tamilnadu, about 50 km from Agali Nearest airport: Coimbatore in neighbouring State of Tamilnadu about 55 km from Palakkad
Ponnumthuruthu for golden memories
Situated 12 kms south of Varkala, Ponnumthuruthu Island is a well kept secret. A trip across the waters is the only way to reach this island which is home to an ancient Siva temple, which many say is about a 100 years old. The Valiyapurackal family owns the island and the temple, which makes it very unique. On Sivarathri day, thousands travel across the lake to worship here. The island is a quiet place on other days and is a bird watchers paradise.
Reaching Ponnumthuruthu Nearest railway station: Varkala, about 5 km away Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 30 km away