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The Amazing Aluva Sivarathri Festival and Fair in Kerala, India
Kerala is a beautiful state in India which is well known for its rich heritage, culture and religious harmony. This place is blessed with an amazing natural beauty which attracts a large number of travelers from across the world. Another factor that attracts travelers to Kerala is its rich and unique religious festivals and fairs of different religious community. Aluva Sivarathri is one of the most popular festivals of Hindus in Kerala and is held on the famous Aluva Siva templs situated on the Manal puram (the land with sand) on the banks of River Periyar in Ernakulam district. Aluva Sivarathri is one of the most unique and sacred festival among the Hindus in Kerala and this is the day when pilgrims offer sacrifices to their ancestors. People from different parts of Kerala flow to Aluva on this special day to pay homage and respected to their ancestors who have passed away.
Even though this ritual prevails among the Hindus in India, the Aluva Sivarathri ritual is something special that attracts a lot of pilgrims every year. The Aluva Sivarathri festival usually falls on the months of February and March every year and even though the main ceremony is only for one day, the festival and the associated fair continues for almost a month. The town of Aluva will be filled with local Pilgrims as well as those coming from different parts of Kerala and the Siva Temple at Aluva will be alightened to full glory and beauty.
The Aluva Sivarathri is also marked for the fairs, exhibitions, adventure rides, stalls and shopping opportunities that continue for almost a month. The fairs and exhibitions at the Aluva Sivarathri also attract a lot of people throughout the month and we can see a large number of people visiting the fairs during the evening time. I also had an opportunity to visit the the Aluva Manalpuram during the Sivarathri festival and also got a good glimpes of the amazing atmosphere create on the banks of River Periyar.
It was the first time I am visiting the Aluva Sivarathri venue and was really amazed with the electrifying environment that prevailed at the place. Aluva town was connected to the Siva Temple on the banks of river Periyar with a temporary bridge and the sight of people taking the temporary bridge to reach the Shivarathri venue was a real treat to the eyes. Once we enter the Siva Temple premises, we can really feel a sense of high level spirituality which really speaks about the importance of Aluva Shivarathri.
At the temple premises, we can see a lot of devotees offering prayers for their ancestral souls and also having a dip in the Periyar river. By evening the fair and shopping activities started becoming more active and also started attracting a lot of people. I also decided to have a look at the fairs and adventure rides, but initially I was really stunned at the sight that I never expected. The venue of the fair was really jam packed and all the temporary shops and similar places was really filled with a large number of people. An when it comes to shopping, you can really get a variety of items such as food, snacks, ice cream, flowers, vegetable seeds, toys etc and the prices are also pretty reasonable.
After having a rough look at the shopping area, I turned my eyes towards the adventure rides and was happy to find that the adventure rides included simple rides for kids, as well as harder rides for the grown-ups. I managed to enjoy rides on few of them, but after the ride I really felt exhausted and vowed never to take an adventure ride in the near future. But the experience was really pretty good and I was amazed to see a lot of kids easily taking up the adventure rides that were meant for adults.
The only thing that disappointed me was the amount of dust particles that filled the Shivarathri venue due to the large number of visitors and really had difficulty in breathing well. A mask was being provided at the entrance of the venue, but initially I rejected the mask and had to pay for my negligience in the end. But once I got out of the venue, things became normal and went home with some of the most memorable moments of the Aluva Shivarathri.
The next year's Aluva Shivarathri will also be held during the months of February - March and those willing to visit this event can really plan their schedules now. Aluva is just around 14 km from Kochi International Airport (Nedumbasserry Airport) and the venue is hardly 2 km away from Aluva railway station. For those coming from nearby places, things will be easier as the Shivarathri venue is hardly 1 km away from National Highway 47. So if you have not visited or experienced the famous Aluva Shivarathri event, then you should really think of visiting Aluva during the next Shivarathri date.