The 10-day Painkuni festival at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple concluded with the Arat to the Padmatheertham, the sacred pond in front of the iconic temple, for the ritualistic immersion of the idols on Saturday evening.
In adherence to the COVID-19 protocol, the traditional Arat procession carrying the idols on garuda vahanas to the Shanghumughom beach via the Arat road and the tarmac of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport was avoided for the first time.
Instead, the idols of Sree Padmanabhaswamy, Thiruvambadi Krishna, and Narasimhamoorthy carried by priests were taken out through the eastern gate of the temple to Padmatheertham around 6 p.m.
Moolam Tirunal Rama Varma, head of the ruling family of the erstwhile Travancore, led the procession wearing the traditional green cap and carrying the ceremonial sword. Other male members of the family accompanied him. Tantri Tharanallur Satheesan Namboodiripad led the priests in conducting the pujas and this was followed by immersion of the idols in the sacred pond, one of the oldest in the State capital. The idols of four temples under Travancore Devaswom Board also arrived at the Padmatheertham for the Arat and pujas were conducted on the other banks of the pond.
After five months
The festival concluded after the idols were brought back to the temple through the eastern gate.
After the idols were taken in procession to the temple, the festival flag was lowered and pujas held. The palli vetta was held on Friday night near the police control room on the Western gate of the temple.
The festival was being held after five months following the advice by the temple priest Nedumpilli Tharanallur N.P. Parameswaran Namboodiripad to go ahead with the Painkuni festival with limited rituals.