That’s Puthucode Navarathri for us!!!

I just have no idea what really prompted me to draft this post at this time of the year ‘coz i have been saving this one to be posted at the time of Navratri this year. Well, I guess, may be standing witness to a “Shingari Melam”  last night in Mylapore might have pulled the trigger off….

    Having been born in Puthucode in Kerala and with my close family members still living there, I can never be ashamed to say that we celebrate Navratri in the best way!!!! It is definitely a spectacle to watch atleast once in everybody’s lifetime and I am honored and humbled that I get to be a part of it every single year.

    For Starters, Puthucode is a sleepy lil place off the NH 47 . It is midway between Palakkad and Trissur. A major chunk of Puthucode is basically around the Annapoorneswari Temple and the Shiva Temple. 4 villages  (a.k.a Agraharams), 1 for each direction ( North, South, East and West) and 1 lil market place called Anjumuri. This is kinda the essence of the Puthucode that i know. 🙂
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    The run-up to the festivities starting from Day One till the Vijayadashami day ( Day Ten) , planning for Navaratri every year(a Herculean task) starts months before the actual dates. Inviting donations, making arrangements for everything from scratch.. the Arches, Elephants, Decorations for elephants, Floral decorations, Food and Stay arrangements etc.

    Navratri starts off with the Ceremonial “kodiyettam” in the temple.The divine flag of Devi is hoisted in the Golden “Kodimaram” ( Flag mast) on the Mahalya Amavasya day after Sunset.And there it goes, its nine full days worth of celebrations due!

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    From the next day onwards, its made sure that the poojas in the temple are done to the dot with every minute detail taken care of. Each of the four villages are given two days each. In these two days , all the poojas, decorations, sadhya ( the feast) and other decors are the responsibilities of those assigned villages.

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    Its apt to say that  every village takes these days  very seriously and do the best that they can to exhibit the grandeur of the festival. It is literally a competition between the villages and the villagers,to be honest.They provide accommodation to anybody who wishes to stay there during the festival and offer food too.

    Every village is decorated with an arch with lighting since Day One. During the Big Vilakku Days, i.e., the sixth, seventh,eighth and the ninth days, elephants are brought from various places and adorned with all possible Chamayam and paraded through the length of the streets.

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    The temple decoration is the best during these days and its totally worth it even if we get to stand in long,winding queues to get the blissful darshan of the Divine Mother. Its just beautiful to see The Mother always smiling during all of these 10 days. There will be very little sight of bare temple walls during these days as flowers and lighted lamps adorn the temple completely.

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    A typical vilakku day starts with the Devi Aarattu early in the morning and proceeds with the Ezhunnalath. The tallest elephant in the group is blessed with the Thedambu ( An ensemble with the idol of the Divine Mother) and paraded through the village along with other elephants and the panchavadyam and melam.

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    Come the lunch hour and its guaranteed mammoth line in front of the Agrashaala. The Pulingari( A gravy of pumpkin, jaggery and a variety of spices and coconut) of Puthucode is very famous and people from everywhere  wait to have a morsel of rice mixed with pulingari.A simple lunch is complemented with the best of the Payasams make it an unforgettable feast one might ever have had in their lives.

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    Evening again the festivities resume with the Ezhunnalath and the usual fare of Panchavadyam and Melam with the best of Artistes in their respective genres leading the group. No wonder they say Music is Bliss.  

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    On the tenth day,the Araattu day, it is symbolically a day for all the villages to sign a peace treaty and putting  an end to the self proclaimed competition and gather in the temple premises to witness the Lowering of the flag ceremony thus officially putting an end to the nine day long festivities . This day also means that we get back to our boring monotonous lives back in the cities.

    Puthucode Navaratri has many many lovely and charming legends and faces and one has to be present in person in the midst of all these to truly understand and appreciate the awesomeness of it. So, do make it a point to be there at least once in lifetime …coz after that it might be a regular and inevitable affair for you to be a part of it.     

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42 thoughts on “That’s Puthucode Navarathri for us!!!

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  1. I was three at the Puthucode Annapoorneswari temple couple of years ago and this post reminded me of everything I saw there. The decoration was minutely taken care of that it feels like a different world. I have never seen quite such effort in beautifying a temple to the level it is there. And of course that pumpkin pulingari….u nailed in saying that Ppl talk about that experience for years… I forced my mom to make it now ever she feeling it could have been made.. Lovely place and a really good post… Revved up my memory

  2. Megha….. wunderbar ! bis wir uns wieder treffen im Puthucode… Auf widersehnen !

    Dir Chitappa 🙂

  3. megha..Wonderful write up be a proud puthucodian..hope u know me.. i am chithappa to soumya,bangalore and your fathers classmate-cum-friend.

  4. Well narrated……Keep posting every year with latest pics of the year. All the very best.

  5. Dear
    Very nicely written the Puthucode Navarathri festival alongwith the beautiful photographs! I am really proud to see and read as a Puthucodian.
    I am from East Village Puthcode, now settled down in Delhi
    Hariharan Puthocode Subramanian

  6. Just read your excellent post and planned for a trip to Puthucode for this Navarathri. Hope to see you too there.

    1. Thanks 🙂 yup m in this tym… 6th and 7th vilakku.. (29th and 30th september) 🙂 welcome to Puthucode and we sincerely hope you take back home lots and lots of fantastic memories!!!!

  7. Hi

    We are basically from Puducode. However I have just visited the temple a few times ouple to be precise).

    Can you please let me know hot to make a donation to
    i. Navartri Celebrations
    ii. SAPCO trust for the temples itself (Does SAPCO maintain both the Annapurni temple and the Shivan Temple)? Do donations have to be made seperately or does SAPCO allocate funds as needed?

    Warm Regards … Karthik

    1. Hi Karthik. Great to know that you are from puthucode as well. Regarding donations, you may pls check the facebook page”South Village Puthucode” where the Navratri Celebration invitations hv been uploaded. All the details that you would require is given in it. Hope this suffices. Incase you dont find it pls feel free to post here. Hoping to see you during Navratri. Cheers..:-)

      1. Hi Megha,

        That seems to be a closed group. It will be great if you could post the details here as well. Apart from Navarathri, it would be great if you could update give me details to donate to SAPCO as well.

        Unfortunately I am currently not in India and will therefore not be able to come for Navratri. Hope to make it next year.

        Regards… Karthik

  8. Hi Karthik,
    U could contact +91 9500029608 for details. This number belongs to Mr.Venkatesh who is a committee member . He would guide you thru thr process.
    Cheers!

    1. Thanks..

      Waiting for updates on this year’s celebrations.. photos, videos et al.

      Till then ciaou…

  9. hey Megha!! do you know the history of the temple?? how she got the name Annapoorneshwari?? how the idol came into existense?? my mama is doing pujai to goddess currently. if you know, let me know about it.
    great article and pics.

    1. Hi Vivek. This temple is one of the 108 temples of Goddess Durga installed by Lord Parasurama. The most prominent festival here is the Navratri and through all the ten days of the festival, whoever comes to the temple, they are given food free of cost. And never during these 10 days will anybody yearning for food here will be sent off empty stomach. They ll be fed to their satisfaction. Hence the name Annapoorneshwari. This is quite what i know right now. I ll get back to you with further details in a few days time.
      Thanks for taking your time out to read 🙂

  10. Megha,I am planning to visit Puthucode next week.Can you please suggest accomadation options in the vicinity,which will enable us to spend most of the day at the temple,rather that in travel to and fro

  11. Wonderful So nice to read &view .I am from North Village.Vadyarode son Near sivan Koil.Next to PPR annas Houze. Please Keep it Up.God Bless You

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