Tourism > India > Kerala > Districts > Alappuzha > Chettikulangara
Chettikulangara is in between Kayamkulam and Mavelikkara of the Alleppy District. This place is famous for the Durga Temple and its festivals. The Temple is under the Travancore Devasom Board and is a Major Temple in Kerala. The income of this temple is second next to Sabarimala according to some statistics of the Devasom Board. To have a small idea of its income, this year it earned around 1crore70lakh rupees as income for a single type of offering called "Chanthattam". For the people in and around the place the Devi is so powerful that they are ready to do anything for the Devi.
The main festival of Chettikulangara Devi Temple is on the month of march or april. The date is determined according to the Malayalam Calender ("KollaVarsham"). In that this day comes in the month of Kumbha and the day which has the star Bharani and hence the name KumbhaBharani. Even though this is famous amoung people outside the locality the actual festival of the temple is almost 17 days afterwards and is a 13 day festival. This is done so that it will finish on the Aswathy star of Menam month. The next day which is the Bharani star, the Devi of Chettikulangara, who is considered as the daughter of Kodungaloor Devi, goes to see her mother. So starting from that day for 3 days the temple will remain closed and there will not be any offerings.
The preparation for KumbhaBharani starts 7 days before the actual day and incidentally that day will be the Shivarathi. People who had pledged for "Kuthiyottam" will start training their children for the offering on that day. All these 7 days these people will host public get-togethers and arrange food for them. The children will be taught a special dance steps called "Kuthiyoota chuvadukal" etc.
Meanwhile the people from 13 sub-areas of chettikulangara will arrange for the processions one each for each area. Generally it remains the same every year and according to them it will be 6 big chariots 5 smaller ones, one big idiol of Bheema and another one of Hanuman. A small one of Panchali will always be there with Hanuman.
The processions starts early morning on that day and till afternoon it will be the turn of "Kuthiyottams". Those who had offered Kuthiyoottam to Devi will bring their children to the temple as a procession and will offer the children before Devi as it reach the temple. The boys will be playing the Kuthiyootam dance before the Devi.
During the evening hours it will be turn of the Chariots. People from each area will pull the Chariots from the construction sites (usually in their respective locations itself) to the temple. Some times the route will be through agricultural fields but the loose sand and bumps are no obstructions to the highly inspired people.