Kodungallur Bharani Festival: Celebration of Raw Energy

The atmosphere is eclectic and delirious. A frenzied mob of devotees led by oracles (komaram), clad in blood-red robes, brandishing traditional swords with bells clinging on them, some with blood spilling from their foreheads, sporting sandal and turmericpastes on their forehead storm the temple. They pace their steps to a divine rhythm, egged on by devotees who sing ‘Thanaro thannaro’. The oracles in trance take three rounds around the temple while the members of their retinue pay tributes inside the temple; they hurl abuses and profanities on the deity, who, they believe, accepts them in a benign motherly ardour.