5 Famous Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is culturally significant for people of all religions. In addition to the ancient temples, centuries-old churches and mosques peacefully coexist in the city. Each place of worship has its history and tradition. Here, we have listed some of the most famous festivals in Kanyakumari associated with these places. And if you are planning to visit the city and looking for hotels near the beach, visit Hotel Trisea.

Suchindrum Temple Festival

The Stanumalayan Temple in Suchindrum is dedicated to the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The lingam is believed to have been consecrated by Lord Indra to remove a curse imposed by Sage Atri. The word Suchindrum is derived from suchi, meaning purify, and indrum stands for Lord Indra.

Every year, the Suchindrum Car Festival is held for 10 days in the Tamil month of Marghazi, which falls between December and January. This tradition goes back hundreds of years, although there are no exact dates for when it started.

To the uninitiated, a car festival or ratholsavam refers to a procession in which the deity is placed on a chariot and circumambulated around the temple. Over four chariots are pulled over different days, but the main chariot, or swamyther, is pulled on the 10th day and is the biggest of all. It is over 350 years old and made using mahua and teak wood.

Kollemcode Thooku Festival

The Sree Bhadrakali Temple in Kollemcode is dedicated to sisters Bhadra and Rudra, both, forms of Shakti. While there are separate temples for the two sisters, one in Kollemcode and another in nearby Venkanji, the moola kshetra is a separate temple in Vattavilai where both sisters are worshipped as one form. Bharani Nakshatra is considered to be the birth star of the mother goddess. Every year, during the meenam (March-April) month, a 10-day festival called the Meena Bharani Annual Festival is celebrated. It is also locally called the Kollemcode Thookam Festival.

During the festival, the Bhadrakali Devi from the moola kshetra in Vattavilai is taken on a procession from the Vattavilai to Venkanji, where she stays for ten days and then returns after the ten days of meena-bharani. The festival’s highlight is the Thookam, wherein two poles are tied to a chariot – on the tenth day, or Thookam naalu, thookukaarans are tied to one end of the pole. Babies are placed in their hands, and the pole is raised as an offering to the devi. The babies are placed on the chariot as a thank you to the devi for blessing them with a child or to seek her protection for the baby.

Not everybody can become a thookukaran. They must be physically fit and follow strict rituals prescribed by the temple authorities.

Mandaikadu Festival

The Mandaikadu Bhagavathiamman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi and is located near Colachel in Kanyakumari. There are several legends surrounding the temple. One story has it that the temple was built by sages meditating in the forests surrounding it. They built the shrine, dedicating it to Goddess Shakti. Over time, the temple gained popularity and was even patronised by the Chola and Travancore kings. According to another legend, an epidemic of cholera and smallpox affected villagers surrounding the Mandaikadu area. A disciple of Adi Shankaracharya who visited the temple placed a Sri Chakra where the deity now exists and cured the locals. Over time, a burrow developed where the Sri Chakra was kept, and the sage who performed the pujas attained Jeeva Samadhi.

The temple is famous for being the women’s Sabarimala, in the sense that women must undergo fasting for 41 days and carry an irumudi kettu to offer pongal. The 10-day Koda festival is held in the Tamil month of Maasi. The festival ends on the last Tuesday of Maasi and begins ten days before this day. The festival’s main ritual involves filling the burrow’s cracks (believed to be the main deity), which may develop during the Tamil month of Thai (January to February). Women offer pongal to thank the goddess for any prayers answered. Childless couples offer cradles, women offer mangalsutra, etc., as a thank you for the prayers.

Kottar St Xavier’s Church Festival

The St Xavier’s Church in Kottar is among the oldest churches in Kanyakumari District. Records show that it was built around 1600 and named after Francis Xavier, who did missionary work in the district. The church was built on land donated by Venad King Unni Kerala Varma and is dedicated to Mother Mary. The church was renovated and extended in 1865 and received cathedral status in 1930.

The church is trendy among locals, who nicknamed it Kaetta Varam Tharum Kottaru Saveriar, or St. Xavier of Kottar, the grantor of all boons.

The church celebrates a 10-day feast from November 24th to December 3rd every year. This is a huge event in the district, with schools and colleges given a public holiday. The highlight of the festival is Mother Mary’s car procession, which is decorated with jewels and ornaments.

Vavubali Exhibition

Vavubali is commemorated to appease ancestors. This ritual occurs in the Malayalam month of Karkida, which falls between July and August. People offer oblations to their ancestors along river banks and pray for their blessings. In Kanyakumari, this is offered along the Thamirabharani River at Kuzhithurai. While the actual vavu bali is celebrated on the Amavasya or No Moon Day, the locals await the exhibition that’s held for 20 days with plenty of games, amusement rides, and other events.

If you are visiting the city for these festivals and looking for accommodation options in Kanyakumari, visit Hotel Trisea, the best hotels in Kanyakumari We are located close to the beach and are one of the few hotels offering affordable accommodation without compromising luxury or comfort. Visit Hotel Trisea to book rooms in Kanyakumari.

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