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Gaja Mela

Gaja Mela

The Gaja Mela rings the chord in the head about elephant. Yes, you are reading it correctly as in the Sanskrit lingo, Gaja means elephant and Mela stands for fair. There is a belief among the people of South India that no celebration is complete without including the adored elephants and these are the most loved and revered animals here in the southern part of India, especially in the country of God, Kerala.

Adoor Gajamela is a ten day festival of elephants and is annually held at the temple of Sree Parthasarathy Adoor. Here in the province of Kerala, elephants are worshipped and are considered as the incarnation of the elephant headed Hindu God Lord Ganesha. Even on the special occasions of the people of Kerala, one can observe elephant parades.

Paripally Gajamela, which is celebrated in the southermn state of India, Kerala, also encompasses a popular and unique elephant parade. This annual festival event is held in the month of February or March. This famous elephant parade plays an integral part of the annual festival at Kodimootil Sree Bhadrakaali Temple in Paripally.

The elephant pageant, which is held in Paripally town of Thiruvananthapuram on tenth day of the festival, comprises more than 50 elephants and is very well admired by the masses. These elephants are dedicated to the Goddess Bhadrakali by the devotees to seek the blessings, which will bring them prosperity and affluence in the procession. The ritual is called ‘nerch’. This parade render a breath taking sight of lined up caparisoned elephants.

The elephant parade is accompanied with lot of extravaganza with five traditional instruments (panchvadyam) forming a fervent element of the kudamattam ritual (the synchronised changing of the parasols atop the tuskers). All through the festivity days, the cultural programs are held round the clock.

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