Celebrating Maha Shivaratri at Padanilam Parabrahma Temple, Kerala, India 18 Jan 2017
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On a moonless night in late winter, thousands gather to celebrate the Maha Shivaratri Festival at the Padanilam Parabrahma Temple, in Kerala, India. Bullock effigies are paraded, standing over 50 feet tall. The bullock is the vahana (mode of transport) for Shiva, the Hindu god celebrated during the festival. Shiva is a representation of good and evil. He is a destroyer of illusions and imperfections in the world, making way for beneficial change. Married women are the main devotees, praying for the long life and health of their husbands and sons.
Celebrations start with a full day fast and anointing the idol of Shiva, with milk, honey and water. Services are held at the temple throughout the day, ending with Kettulsavam, the most specular part of the festival and main temple service. Add a trip to the Padanilam Parabrahma Temple on either of Insight Guides’ Magical Kerala or Unmissable India trips.