The hot month of March is not the best time to visit Kerala. Even though the temperature generally stays under 40 degrees, in many parts of the state you may get the feel that the heavens are breathing out fire.
Kerala, the tropical paradise, can be visited anytime during the year and March is no exception.
Stick to the beaches and hill stations.
Opt for A/C houseboats and rooms and you will escape the bites of the heat, to a large extent.
However, there is one extravagant event in March that should not be missed. That is the pooram festival at Arattupuzha in Central Kerala.
Arattupuzha is a village by the side of Karuvannur River, located about 15 kms south of Thrissur town.
This is a historic place being the site of ancient Sastha temple. One of the important shrines of the region, its origin dates back to 3000 years or even more.
Arattupuzha pooram is one of the oldest temple festivals in Kerala. It is also one of the top tier poorams.
The seven day festival starts with Kodiyettam, the flag hoisting ceremony. Rituals and celebrations follow. During those nights, the temple gets lit with 5000 lamps, burning on Ghee donated by devotees.
Considered as the divine occasion when deities from several regional temples visit Sasta, poorams are held at those locales as well. Thaikattussery, Peruvanam, Tharakkal and Thottippal are some of the villages where poorams are held.
During the last two days of the pooram, the temple courtyard and the nearby paddy field witness several elephant processions and displays. Elephant processions from several regional poorams arrive at Arattupuzha. The grand assembly of 71 elephants decorated by golden head covers and accompanied by electrifying music is an out of the world experience.
The hectic vibes of pandimelam, pancharimelam and panchavadyam, created by master percussionists and drummers, is a powerful undercurrent that sweeps everything with it. The peak for music is when 250 artists join together to create a grand traditional orchestra.
No wonder hundreds of thousands of people pour into Arattupuzha. They also happen to see great fireworks.
Arattu, one of the major rituals, is the holy dip of the deities in the river. Thousands of people accompany and take dips themselves.