By Rakesh Reddy. C
Thiruchendur in Tamil Nadu is famous for its Murugan temple. But not many know that 13kms from Thiruchendur, a small village called Kulasekarapattinam has passionate dussera celebrations. Muttharamman temple is situated in this village, which is said to be 300-years-old. More than 1.5 million people gather every year to celebrate the navarathri festival with much devotion and fervour.
People in the village believe that they have to transform themselves into different avatars every year in order to pacify Goddess Kali. They take form of goddesses, beggars, Kings, Ayyanar and several other characters. This year, I even saw a person donning the character of the Kalakeya king seen in the movie Baahubali.
They follow a tradition that each person has to beg from their respective villages and collect money and donate it to the Muttaramman Goddess. People come from various nearby villages to take part in this 12-day Navaratri festival. People who take up the Kali goddess avatar are considered as real Gods and they go into a trance. It is a divine sight.
On the Dussera day, after 12am, they remove the make-up and come out of their avatars and take a dip in the beach nearby. With that, the festival comes to an end and they end their fast, and start their feast.