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Vettoor Ayiravillan Temple – Vettor Padayani Festival

Vettoor Ayiravillan temple is located at Vettoor in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The annual festival in Thiruvettoor temple is held in such a manner that it concludes on Uthram nakshatra day in Meena Masam. The annual festival is famous for the Vettor Padayani.

The sankalpam of the deity is that of Keerta Bhavam. The temple also has the presence of Goddess Annapurna and Goddess Durga. The area is also famous for worship of Sarpam (Nagas) and Bhuta Ganas of Shiva.

As per legend Shiva appeared here atop a horse with thousands arms and all the arms holding bow and arrows. The name Ayiravillan refers to the thousand arms of Shiva. The consort of Shiva here is Vasundhra Moorthi.

As per some scholars the murti worshipped in the temple has the chaithanyam of both Shiva and Sastha.

The annual festival begins with the famous Karthika Pongala in Kumbha Masam. The next most important event during the festival is the Poora Padayani. Some of the other rituals include Appindi and Vilakkedupu, Ayilyam pooja, kalamezhuthum pattum, Ezhunnallathu, kettukazhcha and annadanam.

The final day of the festival is famous for the Kettukazhcha with eduppu kuthira. Kuthira of various heights and kettukala are part of the festival.