Arattupuzha Pooram is a popular temple festival of India. The annual festival at Arattupuzha is also termed as the mother of all pooram festivals in Kerala, due to its sheer magnitude and grandeur. Visitors from nearby and far off places reach the village of Arattupuzha during the festival days, to be part of this grand festival.
The Sree Sastha Temple in Arattupuzha which is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is believed to be more than 3000 years old and its premises are the venue for the festivities. It is believed that during the festival period, Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity at the Sree Sastha Temple is visited by gods and goddesses of the neighbouring villages.
The festival is celebrated for seven days. All the buildings of the town were beautifully illuminated by strings of colorful light bulbs. This festival is the oldest and most extravagant of all the poorams celebrated in Kerala.
On the fifth day of the festival, a procession is held in which drummers, and eight elephants accompany the beautiful elephant carrying idols ('thidambu') of 23 deities.The idol of the deity of the Arattupuzha Sastha temple is taken to the Thottipal temple. It is brought back after the Thottipal Pooram to the Sastha temple and then regular rituals and 'Sreebhoothabali' are performed. An elephant peagent is held on the sixth day which features beautifully ornamented 61 elephants.
Lord Ayyappa is given holy bath (arattu) with great pomp and gaiety in the Arattupuzha river on the subsequent day. The caparisoned elephants bear muthukkudas (silken umbrella) and venchamarams (white tufts) make a delightful sight.
Traditional art forms are displayed here. The dazzling fire works bedazzle the onlookers with the beauty of sparks which are like jewels embellished in the darkness of night. This sight is amazing! 'Grama Bali' is performed. An elephant race is also held.
This colorful festival attracts spectators from all parts of the state. The ceremonial processions of the images of the deities from 41 neighboring temples to the Arattupuzha temple make it a unique festival.