Padeni (Kolam Thullal)

(Presented by –Sree Devi Padayani Sangam-Elanthoor East).

‘Padeni’ the favourite offering of Sri Bhagavathikkunnil Amma. Is performed 3 days before thiruvulsavam.

The ritual marks beginning of Padeni.  The temple priest hands over an oil lamp, i.e., to lit with the fire from the sacred lamp to the Padeni masters.  The Padeni Sangam with devotees welcomes Sri Bhagavathikkunnilamma beating ‘pacha Thappu’ (a traditional musical drum), clamor and voice of melodious chorus of women (vaikurava).  The Padeni master light an indigenous torch light made of dry coconut (choottu katta) with the sacred lamp brought from the sanctum sanctorum.  The Padeni Aashan goes round the temple thrice before reverently placing it on a stone facing sanctum.

The ‘Koottakolam’ performance comprises of’ Sivakolam’, ‘Ganapathikolam’,’ Maruthakolam’, ‘Yakshikolam’, ‘Sundharayakshi’,’ Antharayakshi’, ‘Arackiyakshi’,’Mayayakshi’, ‘Pakshikolam’, ‘Maadankolam’, ‘Kaalankolam’,’ Bhairavi’,’ Bhairavium Kanjiramalayum’, ‘Ninabhairavi’,’ Kanjiramala’, ‘Mangalakolam’, ‘Pooppada’, and ‘Kuthirathullal’.  Kanjiramala and Bhairavikolam is the major attraction of the Padeni festival.  The Valiya Padeni is a major festival that witnesses perforces all the padenikolam including majestic Bhairavikolam.  Usually the Valiya padeni concludes with the artists and devotees singing “Vallappattu” seeking divine blessings.

Kadammanitta village is popularly known as padeni village in Pathanamthitta District.  Kadammanitta is a village with vibrant rustic traditions on the hilly tracts of the district.  It is situated about five kilometers away from the district headquarters.  Kadammanitta is known its ancient Bhagavathy Temple and the ritualistic art form of padeni.  The padeni festival celeberated at the Bhagavathikkunnu Devi temple there attracts a large number of temple art lovers from the different parts of the state and even foreigners every year.  The Kadammanitta Bhadrakali temple is a major center of this temple art form and padeni festival is held every year.  The ritualistic dance of padeni, literal meaning military formation is performed as offering to Goddess Bhadrakali at various Bhadrakali temples in the Central Travancore region.  Padeni is being celeberated every year almost thirty temples of Alleppy, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam Districts.