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Chittur Konganpada

Chittur Konganpada is the only war festival in Kerala. It is the annual festival of Chittur Bhagavathy temple in Palakkad and is celebrated every year in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February- March).

The festival is interwoven with many myths, history and legends. It commemorates the victory of Chittur Nairs over the army of Konganadu, led by the Chola King Rajadhi Raja in 918 AD. It is said that there was constant fight in the Palakkad region between the Kerala kingdoms on the western side and the princely state of Konganad on the eastern side of the Western Ghat mountains.

On the third day of the Konganpada festival 101 rounds of the kathina vedi (ironpipe crackers) commemorates the historic victory. Later, there is a kolam procession of little boys dressed as girls carried on the shoulders of men. At night men engage in mock fights wearing buffalo head masks to symbolize the dead buffaloes of the Konganpada (Kongan army).