Ezhara Ponnana

Ezhara Ponnana: The Splendor of Golden Elephants in Ettumanoor

Ezhara Ponnana Event scheduled for February 18, 2024, will take place at the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple.

The annual festival at the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam, Kerala, boasts a magnificent spectacle known as the Ezhara Ponnana procession. At the heart of this grand event are seven-and-a-half golden elephants, crafted from jackfruit wood and adorned with approximately 13 kg of gold plates. Standing at about two feet high, with the smallest one measuring just a foot, these awe-inspiring elephants captivate the attention of all festival attendees.

These golden elephants spend most of the year within the temple vault, making their appearance exclusively during the eighth and tenth days of the festival. The procession commences at the temple, weaving through the streets of Ettumanoor, accompanied by a jubilant gathering of devotees who sing and dance in celebration. This joyous occasion is a highlight for anyone fortunate enough to be in Kerala during the festival season.

Historical and Spiritual Significance

With its roots tracing back to the 16th century during the reign of the Travancore king Marthanda Varma, the Ezhara Ponnana procession holds a profound historical significance. Legend has it that the king donated these golden elephants to the temple as a token of his devotion to Lord Shiva.

For the devotees of Lord Shiva, the procession carries deep religious significance. The golden elephants symbolize the divine power and blessings of the Lord, offering a tangible expression of gratitude from the devotees for the bestowed blessings.

The Festival Extravaganza

The ten-day annual festival in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February-March) at the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is a joyous celebration for Lord Shiva’s devotees. It commences with the hoisting of the temple flag on the first day, followed by a series of religious rituals. The highlight, the Ezhara Ponnana procession, unfolds on the eighth and tenth days.

The festival reaches its pinnacle on the tenth day with the Arattu ceremony, a ritualistic bathing of the Lord Shiva idol. The ceremony is succeeded by a grand feast, bringing the festivities to a delightful close for all the devotees.

The Ezhara Ponnana procession stands as a captivating and distinctive event, beckoning all visitors to Kerala during the festival season.

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