Lord Vettakkorumakan and the Coconut breaking ritual at Kerala

Kannur is a town situated between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.This area is of historic importance as it has seen many invasions, both from inside the country as well as Arab and Europeans. It is also a place that has pilgrimage shrines of Buddhism and Jainism apart from Hinduism.

Main Deity:-Lord Vettakkorumakan or Vettekkaran is worshipped in North Keralaas Kirathamoorthy or Lord Shiva as a a hunter. Some devotees also consider him as the son of Lord Kiratha (Shiva’s hunter form) and Goddess Kirathi (Parvathi). Lord Vettakkorumakan is also a form of Lord Ayyappa. 

Legend:- In the great epic Mahabharatha, it is mentioned that while Arjuna was doing Penance to obtain divine weapons, lord Shiva wanted to test him. Shiva and Parvathy appeared as hunters and made a wild boar disturb Arjun’s penance. Arjun shot an arrow at the boar and at the same time Lord Shiva also shot an arrow. The two warriors got into a quarrell over the hunt and it resulted in arrows being fired. All of Arjuna’s arrows were consumend by Lord Shiva. Facing defeat Arjuna picked up some flowers and started worshiping a Shivling nearby. The flowers appeared on the body of the hunter. Arjuna recognized him and fell at his feet. Impressed, Lord Shiva granted him the divine weapons. After this time, Lord Shiva and Parvathy had a child in the forest while they were in there hunter forms. This child is Lord Vettakkorumakan. Lord Vettakkorumakan was sent to protect Kerala by Lord Vishnu.

Festival:– The main ceremony here is held in January. It is the Nilambur Pattu Utsavam. This ceremony is spearheaded by the royal family. This is performed by a Namboothiri family near Pattambi. This involves breaking of  12,000 coconuts at a stretch. The coconuts are broken to the rythm of Chenda melam (devotional music). The breaking speed varies according to the kala pramanam. They are broken using both hands with utmost concentration to the Taalam (beat of the music). Its worth watching live. Its performed at night after 9 pm. 

Below is a video of the performance 

Location: Kannur, Kerala, India

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