Pisharikkal Bhagavathy

Bhagavathy from the Pisharikkal temple at Katalassery sets all the events of the night in motion. Bhagavathy has been arriving on a single elephant and the procession is only ritualistic. But, all other Poorams have to wait until the procession of Pisharikkal Bhagavathy starts and ends.

Aaraattupuzha Sastha

The first main Pooram on the day is of Aaraattupuzha Sastha. The deity arrives at the temple through the southern entrance (Gopuram) before sunset. Seven elephants decorated with exquisite ornaments stand in a row facing north, but, exposed to the rays of the setting sun. That is a sight that will linger in the mind for all time to come. An elaborate Pandi Melam commences immediately under the leadership of Padmashri Peruvanam Kuttan Marar. After about 30 minutes the deity moves towards the eastern entrance (Gopuram) and enters the walkway facing east. The Pandi Melam continues there which lasts until about 10 PM.

Chatthakkutam Sastha

Meanwhile Chatthakkutam Sastha would have assembled seven decorated elephants at the eastern end of the walkway and started an elaborate Panchari Melam, just after 7:30 PM. Thottippal Bhagavathy accompanies Sastha on the adjoining elephant to the left. The Melam is being lead by Peruvanam Satheesan Marar who is expert in managing the Melam with perfect timing. It lasts until about 10:30 All this time, Aaraattupuzha Sastha would be waiting at the eastern end of the walkway to return to the Peruvanam temple. Two other Sastha, of Metankulam and Kalleli, join Him at that time. The three ascend the walkway with a Panchari Melam. This takes place before the third Pooram of the day, of Urakathu Ammathiruvaty, commences.

Urakatthu Ammathiruvati

The Pooram of Ammathiruvati starts from the same eastern side of the walkway, right behind that of Chatthakkutam even before that comes to an end. The actual Panchari Melam being lead by the expert Kuttan Marar of Cherussery commences only after that of Chatthakkutam comes to an end. Then, Chatthakkutam Sastha joins Ammathiruvati on an elephant to the right. The Melam goes even beyond midnight. This is followed by fireworks, lit right in front of the deity on the walkway.

Vilakku

One of the important attractions of Peruvanam Pooram takes place within the temple of Irattayappan at midnight. This is relatively an unnoticed event of the night. Eleven of the fourteen deities who do not have their own elaborate Pooram on the night would have arrived on single elephants while the other Poorams were in progress. They all come to the temple, pay homage to the deity of Irattayappan by going around inside the temple yard and then alight from the elephant. The Kolam would then be lead to the Mandapam of Irattayappan where each has specific spot to rest. At midnight they all mount their own elephants and form an array outside the western entrance to Irattayappan. The respective oil lamps which lead the deities from their temples to Peruvanam also form an array in front of the elephants. The drummers (Marars) and other supporting percussionists from the respective temples then start an elaborate Panchatri Melam. At midnight with no artificial light to spoil the show this event called a ‘Vilakku’ has a mesmerizing effect.

Cherpil Bhagavathy

Cherpil Bhagavathy is the last to enter the walkway. But, the deity would have arrived by midnight, along the road from the temple which is about a mile away, at the turning to the Thayamkulangara Subrahmaniaswamy temple. There a Panchavadyam of very high standard would commence just after 11:30. The procession of three elephants, accompanied by Panchavadyam would slowly move towards the Mekkavu Kali temple. The Panchavadyam comes to an end there before 3 AM. A Pandi Melam starts there and the procession enters the Peruvanam temple through the western Gopuram. The Melam lasts for an hour. There is a ritual at that time of asking whether there are any other temples which want to perform a Pooram. Cherpil Bhagavathy is supposed to be the last to perform. Hence, the question. Ayyunnu Bhagavathy would join the procession at this time and the two deities on an elephant each, with other five elephants, move towards the eastern side of the temple. That is where the famous Panchari Melam lead by Padmashri Peruvanam Kuttan Marar starts, soon after 4 AM.After an hour or so, the procession moves towards the walkway facing east. The Melam lasts until about 7 AM much after sunrise. The array of seven gold decorated elephants under the rays of the rising sun is another, probably the most thrilling, experience of the Peruvanam Pooram.

Conclusion of the Poorams

All the Bhagavathies, starting with the one from Pisharikkal, conclude the celebration with a ritual bath at the temple pond, called Thotukulam. Each deity performs the bath immediately after the conclusion of one’s own Pooram.