waits for the divine fight
Sarkara Devi temple hustles with activity
during the annual eight day Kaaliyootu festival .Small
shops spring up in the premises with thousands of devotees coming to the
The eight-day Kaaliyoottu festival commemorates the fight
between the demon Darika and the Goddess Durga. This is enacted as the
symbolic ritual paraneettu. It is a fight of the good and the evil in which
the good ultimately triumphs. Devi's paranu (sort of platform) is built
from the trunk of coconut trees measuring a length of 70 feet. They
are erected on the ground with about 6 feet dug into the sand. Darikan's
paranu is built at a distance of about 100 feet from the Devi's and it
is built from the trunk of the arecanut tree.
The belief is that the symbolic fight between the Devi
and Darikan, enacted at the festival, represents the fight that took place
in the astral space.
The festival reflects some of Kerala's own temple traditions.
Colourful and scintillating performances of cultural programmes mark the
occasion. It is festival days for all the people once the traditional flag
is hoisted. Thookkam, oottam, thalapoli, thirumudi procession are some
of the programmes.
The participation of the people is very much there at
every stage of the festival. After days of temple art forms, cultural programmes,
and rituals, the festivities come to a close as the festive flag comes