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On the last day of the Janardhana Swamy Temple Festival, a grand Arrattu procession takes place to add color and excitement to the festival. The highlight of the parade is seven lavishly decorated elephants.In Kerala, elephants are regarded as a symbol of pomp and prosperity, and no temple festival in the state is complete without them. In addition to providing prestige, the elephants also carry the statue of the temple god during the festival processions. The statue is carried down to the sea where it is bathed and cleansed . The men follow the procession into the sea in a frenzy of spiritual ritual. It was the most incredible celebration and to be party to it was something that will never be forgot. After the cleansing the elephants and the temple statue make their way through the streets and bless people’s homes on the way, finally arriving back at the temple in the early hours of the morning. Huge explosions of fireworks that rock the town greet the return of the statue back into the haven of the temple.
It was a long night of partying and celebration.
After an amazing trip down the Kollom backwaters I wanted to share a few images of the trip. The backwaters are large rivers and lakes that connect up with smaller creeks and inlets, a network that unites communities and industry alike. Small villages that make their living from fishing, dredging sand for building and numerous other cottage industries that go to make up wonderful colourful settlements. Munroe island is set in the backwaters and has a unbelievable population of 25,000 thousand living on a 10 kilometre island. The strong sense of community that one finds here is so fantastic, people connecting and working together in a way that shows a true passion for life. Meeting people that just want to share their lives and stories with you, introducing you to friends and family in such a selfless way, pictures alone cannot convey such heartfelt connections.