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Puthur-Vela

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Puthur is a village in Kerala, a state in South India. The central attraction of this village is the Puthur Thirupuraikkal Bhagavathy temple. Actually, Puthur can be considered a part of Palakkad town.

This temple houses the Goddess Karnaki, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. This temple is famous locally and attracts several hundred devotees every year. The Kadhana vedi (crackers) is burst at 6 pm everyday after the evening pooja.

Puthur Vela is the annual festival at this temple. It is conducted every year during the month of April. The festivities last for 3 to 4 weeks in the Malayalam month of 'Meenam', which corresponds to March-April of the English calendar. The flag symbolizing the beginning of the festivities is hoisted on the first Friday of 'Meenam'. Subsequent evenings are filled with devotional programmes like Bhajans and carnatic music concerts. The highlights of the festival include Kathakali performances by renowned artistes, traditional temple arts like Ottam Thullal and Chakyar Koothu.

A recent addition (and now a crowd-puller) is the Puthur Sangeetholsavam. This is a festival of Indian classical music and dance which lasts for over a week, depending on the number of artistes engaged for performances. Famous singers like K J Yesudas & Omanakutty have performed here in previous years. In 2007, a particularly notable performance was by an award-winning blind artiste named Gayatri on the Rudra veena (a one-stringed instrument played by pressing a piece of wood at strategic locations on the string). The audience was moved to tears on seeing the girl's grit and talent.

The festivities end on the final 'Vela' day with a grand procession of the deity on a decorated elephant. The Goddess is accompanied by eight or ten other decorated elephants. The procession is accompanied by Kerala's traditional orchestra - the Panchavadyam and the Pandimelam.

The temple flag is brought do wn on the day after the Vela to signify the end of festivities.

On the way from Sultanpet to Puthur, is the Ramanathapuram Graamam which has the Ganapathi Temple, the Sri Krishna Temple and the Shivan Temple.

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