The Vairankode Vela at the Bhagavathy temple of North Kerala is steeped in rich culture and traditon

 The SW India's Kerala's state called God's own country is endowed with nature;s beauty, apart it has its own distinct culture and tradition native to this highly literate state. One among the famous Hindu temple festivals is the Vairankode. 

The Vairankode Vela, also known as Vairankode Theeyattulsavam, is a significant annual festival celebrated at the Vairankode Bhagavathy Temple near Thirunavaya in Malappuram district,  North Kerala. This temple is one of the oldest Bhadrakali temples in North Kerala and holds great historical and cultural importance.

Decorated dummy bulls,Vairankode Vela, N.Kerala

Decorated dummy bulls, Vairankode Vela, Kerala You

Vairankode was a brahmadeya village under the rule of the Azhvanchery Thamprakkal. The Vairankode Bhagavathy Temple, constructed by the Azhvanchery Thamprakkal approximately 1500 years ago, is dedicated to a deity believed to be the sister of the Kodungallur Bhagavathy. It is a unique tradition and the legend has it that when the Azhvanchery Thamprakkal and his retinue visited the temple, the deity is believed to have risen the bow, to refuse their enter into the temple. Managed by the Koima (principalities) appointed by the Tambras, the festival's opening ceremony, 'Marammuri,' could  only begin with the Koima's permission, who then oversaw all festival-related activities and the closing ceremony, 'Ariyalav.'

The Vairankode Vela, N. Kerala

Cultural Influences

The Vairankode Vela, Kerala

The annual Theeyattulsavam or Vairankode Vela is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February). The festival begins, on first Sunday of Kumbham month, with the ritual of Maram Muri, cutting a jackfruit tree for woods to prepare the fire of Kanalattam ritual. Cheriya Theeyattu, will be held on the third day and the 6th day celebration is called Valiya Theeyattu. On both these days, procession of various folk art forms like Poothan,Thira, Kattalan, Pulikali from nearby villages and places are the major attraction. Eratta Kaala, the decorated effigies of bullocks is another highlight of the festival. The ritual of Kanalattam, devotees walking on fire, will be held in the midnight on the concluding day. The festival attracts thousands of devotees from various castes and religions.

Vairankode Bhagavathy temple N. Kerala

 The festival also includes a vibrant marketplace offering a variety of products, including local produce, pottery, bamboo and palm trinkets, decorative goods, fresh vegetables, savory snacks, children's toys, candies, and sweets. The fresh water fish market is a key attraction, drawing fishermen from near and far to showcase their catches, fostering cultural exchanges among the attendees.

Temple Decorations

During the festival, the temple is adorned with traditional decorations made from plantains, coconut leaves, flowers, leaves,