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Edakkunni Uthram Vilakku - Thrissur – Ollur Edakkunni Bhavathi Temple Festival

The most important and only festival at Edakkunni Bhavathi temple near Ollur (around 8 km from Thrissur) is the uthram vilakku. This annual ritual is held on the uthram nakshatram day in Meenam month. It is a seven day festival and begins six days before the main day. 

Edakkunni Bhagavathi temple uthram vilakku has its origin in uthrampattu, a form of ritual singing (Brahmani pattu) that was later converted into Uthram Vilakku in its present form about 150 years ago.

After the kodiyettam (flag-hoisting) a small pooram is held with three elephants. For the next six days Edakkunni Bhagavathi goes around the Perumanam village atop an elephant receiving offerings from devotees. She also participates in the pooram festivals in the temples on her route and nearby.

The elephant on which Bhagavathi is carried around also takes part in the Peedikaparambil Anayottam – elephant race.

She finally participates in the Arattupuzha Pooram.

On the uthram nakshatram day, she arrives back to the temple early in the morning. The deity is given a ceremonial reception. In the evening a vilakku lighting ceremony and nadaswara is held. Next important ceremony is the Panchavadyam. Five elephants participate in the ritual.

At around 10:00 PM, Bhagavathi comes out of the sreekovil in procession and to the accompaniment of Vali Pani Music. She is then hoisted atop an elephant and four other elephants join her. Kuzhal Pattu, Kombu pattu and Keli are performed here.

Next is the nearly five hour Panchari melam in the temple compound past midnight on the uthram day. This is the main event during the festival. Four deities from nearby temples of Thaikkattussery, Chakkamkulangara, Namkulam, and Chittachatakudam arrive and participate in the event.

The Panchari Melam ends with fireworks.

This is followed by an Idakka pradakshinam during the early morning hours. In the ritual, people take pradakshinam in the temple to get rid of diseases.

At sunrise, Bhagavathi arrives for padikkal pooram. This is the only time in a year that deity goes out through the western door of the temple. After the Padikkal pooram, the ceremonial send off of the neighboring deities who participated in the panchari melam takes place. The festivities come to an end with uprooting of the festival flag - kodikutthu.