Paripally Gajamela, Kerala
|2024||To be announced|
Kerala is known for its traditional festivals celebrated from time to time. Some are celebrated on a small scale among the locals only while some are celebrated with great pomp and fervour, which entice tourists worldwide. One such popular traditional festival celebrated annually is the Paripally Gajamela festival. Paripally Gajamela is one of the mail elephant festivals in Kerala, celebrated at Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakaali Temple in a small town called Paripally in Kollam district.
The festival is celebrated in honour of elephants, and thousands of people from all over India gather to attend this festival. With its unique rituals that unfold the ancient history and culture of different regions of Kerala, Paripally Gajamela festival is indeed a festival which is worth witnessing once in your lifetime. The festival has become so popular in recent time that tourists from various foreign countries make a tour to Kerala during this time. Paripally Gajamela festival is one of the best festival tours in India.
The Paripally Gajamela Festival is celebrated in the month of Malayam Kumbham, which usually falls in the month of February – March. Paripally Gajamela Festival 2023 dates are not yet announced. It is a 10-day festival which is celebrated extravagantly to promote Kerala’s culture and to attract more tourists.
In almost all festivals and celebrations in Kerala, elephants are an integral part as elephants are regarded as an incarnation of Lord Ganesha. Paripally Gajamela Festival is no exception. The name “Paripally Gajamela” is named after the place “Paripally” where the festival takes place and the word “gajamela” which is a Malayalam word meaning a festival of elephants (gaja – elephants, mela – fair).
Highlights of the Paripally Gajamela Festival
Paripally Gajamela Festival is an annual festival of Kerala, celebrated with great enthusiasm by the locals. Locals wait eagerly for this festival every year as it is a grand celebration. Some of the rituals and highlights of this festival are as follows:
NERCHA is offered as a part of the ritual to the deities of the temple. This offering is done by the elephants, which is also a unique sight to witness. It is believed that when elephants make an offering to the deities, then deities are more satisfied and the wishes of the devotees worshipping are fulfilled.
Elephants are beautifully decorated with colourful dresses and jewelleries and the mahouts in their traditional dress atop the elephants are lined up at the temple complex in a systematic way. The mahouts held in their hands tinseled silk parasols and sway white tufts and peacock feathers in a rhythmic way with the sounds of divine music at the back drop. This looks awesome and creates a divine ambience for the onlookers.
More than 50 caparisoned elephants are taken out in a cultural procession on the streets of Paripally. This magnificent elephant parade starts from the temple complex, parade all across the town and return back to the temple. The parade is taken out as a tribute to the deity Kodimoottil Sree Bhagavathy, dedicated to goddess Bhadrakali. This parade takes place on the 10th day as a conclusion ceremony of the festival.
The elephant pageant is accompanied by a band of artists who play the five traditional instruments (panchvadyam). They create a magical musical harmony, and the elephants parade along with the beats in a synchronized manner.
Kudamattam ritual is an essential part of the parade when the onlookers have a glimpse of the changing of the parasols atop the tuskers in a systematic manner.
There are many cultural programs that are organized for the devotees and the tourists. Many other social projects are also organized for the entertainment of the people.
If you are planning a tour to Kerala, India, then visiting during the festival time gives you a better chance to explore the rice heritage and beauty of the state. Paripalli is just 48 km from the capital city Thiruvananthapuran and has easy connectivity. Attending the Paripally Gajamela Festival is indeed an out-of-the-world-experience. So, plan your visit to Kerala during the Paripally Gajamela festival time. Book Paripally Gajamela, Kerala, India tour with the best inbound tour operator in India and experience this unique festival for a lifetime experience and endless memories.