Konganpada : A temple Fair

Pheno's grand mom hails from this small town called "Chittur" near Palaghat, Kerala. Considering they are all settled in Chennai, I have hardly visited this place. So when his grandma expressed her desire to visit "Konganpadaa" - I knew it was the perfect chance and what better guide than the grand old lady who has spent a good chunk of her younger days there.

The entire town of Chittur is little more than a few streets - a quaint little place. Their lives revolve around the temple of Chittur Bhagvathi  - the village goddess. The most happening event in the lives of its citizens is the annual temple fair "Konganpadaa". This fair has a interesting lore to it....

A centuries ago,  the king of "Kongan" (Somewhere in neighboring Tamil Nadu) waged a war upon Chittur. The citizens of this small village were ill-prepared to face the war. So they turn to their goddess Chittur Bhagavathi for help . Off they go to war - all warriors dressed strategically as ladies - ably led by Chiitur Bhagvati. Needless to say, Kongan warriors were taken by surprise to see these valiant lady warriors and soon lose the war!

Its this entire war sequence that's played out during "KonganaPada"....Even today, young boys(less than 5-7 years) are dressed as girls. Would you want to join me as we visit "Konganpada".....

The procession is led by the Toddy Tappers. This is interesting cause in a typical south Indian Village, in days gone by toddy tappers are at the lowest strata of society. But here they are given place of honor cause as per the lore they were the first to sight the enemy.........

Then comes the traitors... and thus their face(and body for added effects) is painted black.

After this procession starts the actual "War Procession'. Here is a facet that didn't make sense to me - In this fair, the most coveted position is the man playing King of Kongan.  Now considering, this is a war the village of Chittor is fighting against  Kongan Raja - shouldn't he be the 'Villan' instead of the hero!

The coveted Kongan Raja
Off goes Kongan Raja to wage a war in which he is royally defeated and the 'konganpada' ends with the the victorious Chittor warriors coming back.....

Linking this to  AtoZ challenge - K is for KonganPadaa....

Thus comes to an end the trip to interiors of Kerala..... 


  1. I haven't seen much of Southern India, so through yours as well as some others' blog I am learning a lot about culture, food, tourist spots etc. Thanks for information..

  2. So much tradition n culture in our land. ...

  3. What good timing to visit during the Festival. What an interesting tale, Meena. Thanks for sharing.

  4. The first time I witnessed such a procession I was very small, I was scared !

  5. Thanks for the snaps, have read about the same in Aithihyamala :)

  6. wow!!
    Thank you for the fabulous pics and information!! :)

  7. Interesting information ! nice pics ....