Mavelikara is a town and a municipality in Alappuzha district on the banks of the river Achankovil.
Bharanikavu & Pallickal located on the Mavelikkara-Kurathikadu-Kayamkulam road, Bharanikavu is famous for its Devi temple and its swarna jeevitha and houses one of the four Buddha statues (Puthrachan) in Alappuzha District. The famous churches of Kattanam add to the glory of this calm and peaceful panchayat. Government School-Bharanikkavu, Pope Pius XI High School, CMS High School - are some of the major educational institutions. Famous personalities include Cartoonist Yesudasan, Bharanikavu Shivakumar.
Kandiyoor is place of historical importance. It was there that the Travancore Raja gained the decisive victory over Kayamkulam Raja. There is famous Mahadeva temple which contains the sub-shrines considered to have been made especially sacred by the presence of all Gods of Hindu Pantheon. There are ancient inscriptions of archaeological importance and it is noted for stone sculptures.
Catholic Diocese of Mavelikara Mavelikara Diocese is the 6th diocese of Syro Malankara Catholic Church with 94 parishes and 37,000 faithfuls. The Bishop of this Diocese is His Grace. Joshua mar Ignathios. The Bishop House is situated in Punnamoodu 2 km from heart of Mavelikara. The throne Church of this Diocese is St.Mary's Cathedral, Punnamoodu.
St.Mary's Cathedral Church Puthiyakavu, Mavelikara is famous for the resolution (Padiyola), unanimously accepted at the Mavelikara Synod held in 1836 at the Mavelikara Puthiyakavu St.Mary's church which was drawn up in the year of our Lord 1836 corresponding 5th Makarom 1011 at the church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of Lord at Mavelikara, between Mar Dionyosious Metropolitan of the Jacobite Syrian Church of Malankarai subject to the supremacy of Mar Ignatius Patriarch, the Father of Fathers, and the Chief of Chiefs ruling the throne of St. Peter of Antioch, the mother of all Churches and his successor Mar Kurilos, and the vicars, priests and parishioners of Ankamali and other churches under the charge of the said Metropolitan.
Chettikulangara Located about 5 km south-west of Mavelikkara, Chettikulangara is famous for the well known Bhagavathy temple. The important festival in this temple is the Kumbha Bharani festival conducted during February-March. The important festivity associated with this utsavam is "kettu-Kazhcha' which resembles the Chinese festival celebrated on the birthday of Buddha. Kuthiyottam is also another important festivity.
Chettikulangara is famous for the Kumbha Bharani festival celebrated in the month of Feb-Mar. The main attraction is the Kuthiyottam vazhipadu procession in the morning and the Kettukazcha in the evening. The temple is located 8 km from Kayamkulam near Mavelikkara in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India. It is 50 km from Alappuzha and one hour by bus. The festival was on 2 March 2009. The specialty of the temple are the 1001 vilakku (lightstand) and the hundreds of year old Chembakam tree.
Kuthiyottam is a symbolic representation of human ‘bali’( homicide). Kuthiyottam is a unique vazhipadu (offering) in which devotees spend Rs 2 to 15 lakh (10 lakh = 1 million). The host will feed all visitors who come to home to witness Kuthiyottam. On the eve of the Bharani day a big lunch for the 'kara' will be arranged at home.
Adi Dravida folk dances and songs are essential part of the offering. Kuthiyotta Kalaris’, run by Kuthiyotta Asans (Teachers), train the group to perform the dances and songs. Training starts about one to two months before the season and the man who makes the offering teaches young boys certain religious rites.
On Bharani morning, after the feast and rituals, the boy's body is coiled with silver wires, one end of which is tied around his neck, and an areca nut fixed on the tip of a knife held high over his head. He is taken in procession to the temple with the accompaniment of beating of drums, music, ornamental umbrellas, bhadra theyyam, peacock kavadis, horse dancers, naga dancers etc. Tender coconut water is poured on his body, till they reach the temple. At the end of it, the boy stands at a position facing the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum) and begins to dance. The ceremony comes to an end with the presentation of prizes to the Gurus (teachers). This dance if performed in pairs is called Iratta Kuthiyottam.
Kettukazhcha construction start from Shivarathri. Residents of the locality (karas) bring floats with huge decorated effigies of chariots, horses, Bhima and Hanuman to the temple premises pulled by hundreds of devotees. All the 14 Kettukazchas (six temple cars known as ‘Kuthiras', five Chariots called 'Therus' and icons of Bhima, Panjali and Hanuman) from the 13 karas will be paraded at the paddy field near the temple around 12 midnight. After Bhagavathi’s Ezhunnellippu to bless the Kettukazhchas and people, Kettukazhchas will be taken back next day morning to the respective Kavus. The dismantled parts of Kettukazhchas are kept at the ‘Kuthirappura’ of each Karas.
Kuthiras have a height of about 70 to 75 ft, and are a union of four parts– Adikkoottu, Kathirakal, Edakkodaram, Prabhada and Melkkoodaram, one above the other respectively. Therus is smaller in comparison to the Kuthiras of Erezha South, Erezha North, Kaitha South, Kaitha North and Pela 'karas'.
The wooden icons of Bhima made by Mattom North and Hanuman brought by Mattom south are probably the largest of its kind in the world. Bhima’s icon is postured as the Pandava enroute to kill Baka on 'Pothu Vandi' (vehicle drawn by buffalos) with food for the Rakshasa King. Mattom south kara also brings the icon of Panjali along with Hanuman.