Festivals are integral to Indian culture and best represent our values and emotions. India, being a multi-religious and multi-cultural country, has a festival every day of the year in every part of the country. Some celebrations are unique to a place and rarely found anywhere else. If you are traveling to our city, here are some celebrations in Kanyakumari you must not miss.
Kulashekarapattinam village is part of Tuticorin District and about 3 hours from Nagercoil. But every year, millions of devotees from Kanyakumari visit this temple either by foot or other modes of travel for the annual Kulasai Mutharamman Dasara Celebrations. The temple is believed to be over 300 years old and was constructed by Raja Maravarman Kulashekaran. The main deity here is a ferocious form of Goddess Parvathi and is believed to guard the neighbouring villages.
She is also famed for helping her devotees, granting them boons during hardship. The Dasara Festival is celebrated annually during the Tamil month of Avani (August –September) for 12 days, during which devotees disguised as different celestial forms visit the temple. It is an age-old custom for devotees to seek alms on behalf of the Goddess and offer them to the temple. It is a sight to watch the procession of devotees travelling to the temple wearing colourful clothes and dressed as various gods and goddesses.
The 10-day Mandaikadu Festival is observed annually on the last day of the Tamil month of Masi (March-April). The Mandaikadu temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi, a form of Goddess Parvathi. Several hundreds of years ago, when dense forests surrounded the area of the temple, only cattle herders came to the place, giving it the name manthaikadu, which, over time, came to be called Mandaikadu. The main deity is believed to be made of sandalwood paste on top of a 15-foot-high burrow. The highlight of the temple is the irumudi kaettu by the women after undertaking a 41-day penance. This is similar to the penance undertaken by men in Sabarimala and is hence known as the Sabarimala for women.
Kollemcode Thookam Festival
Kollemcode is a quaint village close to Kaliyakkavilai, bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and famous for the Sree Bhadrakali Temple. Every year, millions of devotees come here for one of the most unique celebrations in Kanyakumari. The annual Thookam festival is celebrated between March and April for ten days by everyone, irrespective of caste and creed. The festival’s highlight is the thookam, a unique offering where couples offer their infants to a person tied to the end of a bow or villu of a cart. The bows are 45 feet long and carry two thookukarans (people tied to the bow).
The child is raised for over 50 feet by the thookukaran and handed over to the parent. This is a sight that’s difficult to explain but mesmerising to experience. The annual festival begins with Devizhunnullathu, a procession where the deity is taken from the Kollemcode Mudipurra to Venkaji Mudippura, where the Thookam is held, accompanied by elephants and Panchavaadhyam. Millions of devotees visit the place to experience the pongala and the laksharchana.
These are just some of the many unique celebrations of Kanyakumari. To learn more about such unique festivals, we suggest you check with us before booking hotels in Kanyakumari Visit Us!. As local guides, we can tell you more about when and how these festivals are organised.