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Pomp and pageant - Aratt procession from Padmanabhaswami Temple

The Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) city is a famous holy abode of Lord Vishnu. The temple is one among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India.

The ‘Arattu’ (holy bath) procession held in the temple is distinguished from those of other temples due to the solemn and grand ceremonies.

On the ‘Arattu’ day idols of Sree Padmanabha Swamy, Sree Krishna and Sree Narasimha are carried along the three mile route to the ‘arattu mandapam’ situated at Shanghumukham beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

The ‘arattu’ is held as a closing ceremony of the two annual festivals here. The procession is escorted by members of the Royal family of Travancore and armed police contingents.

The festivals are held during the months of Meenam and Thulam (March-April and October-November respectively), according to the Malayalam calendar.

The temple is managed by the Royal family of Travancore. Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and adjacent places were part of the former Travancore kingdom. The temple is noted for its mural painting and stone carvings.