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Pallivilakku ritual - Cheriyanad Subrahmania temple, Alappuzha

This fiesta of lights is part of the Pallivilakku ritual, held as part of the annual Purappadu festival of Cheriyanad Subrahmania temple near Chengannur, Alappuzha. Thousands of lamps will be lighted on the intricate wooden chariot-like lamp posts, which can be moved on wheels.

The shells of Marotti (Hydnocarpus pentandra) fruit will be filled with natural oil to light lamps on these huge moving posts. They will be lighted simultaneously with the spectacular procession of the prime deity, Lord Subrahmania. To add to the splendour of the ritual, some parts of the post will be rotated fast, with the lamps still shining on them.

There will be as much as eleven chariots, contributed by the surrounding villages. The festival is one of those rare events in which such a large number of lamps are featured