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Nenmara Vallangi Vela - Nemmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathi Temple Festival

Nemmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathi temple is located at Nemmara in Palakkad district, Kerala. Nenmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathi temple festival (Nenmara Vallangi Vela) begins on the first day of Meenam month. The highlight of the festival is 30 caparisoned elephants lining up in all grandeur under an ornate canopy. The main ritual is held on Meenam 20.

Aana Pandal, or elephant pergola, an arch-like structure, is the major attraction of the festival where the caparisoned elephants take position as part of the festivities.

Both Nenmara and Vallangi villages set up the pandal (marquee) which is fully decorated with multi-coloured electric lights. The construction of the anna pandal itself is held in competitive spirit by both the villages.

Nenmara Vallangi Vela

Nemmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathi Temple Festival 

  • Kuriyidal chadangu is held on the 1st day of Meenam month. 
  • On the 9th day of Meenam month, the people Nenmara and Vallangi hoist festival flag in their respective villages. Kummati ritual held from that day onwards in both the villages.
  • On the 18th day of Meenam month, Kari Vela is held. 
  • On the 19th day of Meenam month, Andi Vela is held.
  • The famous Nenmara Vallangi Vela is held on the 20th day of Meenam month. After the initial rituals, both the village performs ezhunellippu of the very best elephants at 5 PM in the evening. The procession from both the villages arrives in the temple to the accompaniment of temple music Panchavadyam. The elephants of both the villages stand facing each other. 
  • Cultural programs by artists of respective villages are held on the occasion. Fireworks or vedikettu is another major event.
  • On the 21st day of Meenam month, people of both the villages perform the kuravalikku ritual in the temple and this brings end to the Vela festival.

The friendly competition between the villages to outdo each other spices up the entire festival and many a unique sight are on display during this time. The Vela is celebrated after the paddy harvest. The two competing villages, the Nenmara and the Vallangi, have their own temples but converge at the common Nellikulangara Bhagavathi Temple for the Vela.

Nemmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathi Temple Information - History

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali – popular known as Nellikulangara Bhagavathi. The main murti is six feet tall and faces north. The dharu vigraham (carved in wood) is of a peaceful Bhadrakali.

The Upa Devatas worshipped in the temple are Ganapathy, Goddess Bhairavi and Ayyappa.

As per history, the local ruler or nadu vazhi of the region Kodakara Nair brought the murti (avahichu kondu varika) from Nellikulathumala in Nelliyampathy. The murti was worshipped from the Tamil Sangam age. The ruler first installed the murti on the southern bank of Kothakulam and built a temple. The temple was transferred to the current location years later.