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Kerala: Arattu procession held in Thiruvananthapuram welcoming International Airport Operations

The centuries-old unique ritual of the Arattu procession as part of Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram was held today. Operations of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport halted for a few hours for the procession to pass through its runway, which is a very rare incident where an airport halts its operation for a traditional ritual.

The ‘Arattu’ procession of Sree Padmanabha Swami temple is a tradition for the ritualistic immersion of temple idols in the sea. It marks the conclusion of ten-day-long Alpashi and Painkuni festivals of the temple.

This year, the ritual was conducted with strict adherence of COVID protocols. Head of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore led the procession wearing the traditional green cap and carrying ceremonial sword.

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The Airport halts its operations twice a year for this rare religious practice. After the ritualistic bath, the procession returned through the same runway back to the temple.

The traditional route of Arattu kept followed even after the inception of the Airport in 1932. Airport Authority issued a notice to Airmen ahead of the event to halt the flight schedules for five hours in the evening.


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