--> Skip to main content

Anpoli Ritual Associated With Kerala Temples – The Five Items Used In The Ritual

Anpoli (അൻപൊലി) is a unique ritual associated with temple sin Alappuzha and Kollam districts in Kerala. The ritual is famous in Karunagappally, Karthikappally, Mavelikara talukas and in certain parts of Chengannur Taluk. The ritual is part of the parayeduppu (പറയെടുപ്പ്)  performed in these regions. Five food items are offered to the deity as part of the ritual they are - നെല്ല്, അരി, തെറ്റിപ്പൂവ് or കദളിപ്പഴം, മലർ, അവിൽ.

As part of the ritual, the jeevata or thidambu of the deity worshipped in a temple is brought to home on the shoulders of the pujari. A special temporary pandal covered with white cloth and decorated with plantain along with flower and tender coconut leaves is constructed for the ritual.

In the pandal, five niraparas are filled with five different types of materials – they are unhusked rice, uncooked rice, thetti poovu (or kadalipazham), malar (puffed rice) and aval (beaten rise). These five items are referred to as poli or anpoli. For each para a separate nashi or changazhi of the same material is kept.

The priests arriving with the jeevata on their shoulders dance to the accompaniment of melam. There is no specific time set for the ritual. Once the ritual is completed, the priests take Dakshina and take away the poli.