"Aarattu" refers to the immersion of the deity in a holy river on the last day of a temple festival.
“Aarattu” refers to the immersion of the deity in a holy river on the last day of a temple festival. The rituals vary from temple to temple and also the time taken for the aarattu. This will depend on the popularity and power of the concerned deity.
The deity is placed on a caparisoned elephant decorated with a ‘muthu kuda” (specially decorated huge ornate umbrellas used during temple and church festivals). The deity as the Supreme Being is placed on top of an elephant the largest animal on land. It is taken in procession to the river where it is immersed in accordance with the rituals of the particular temple. It is celebrated as the last event of a temple festival.
In Thiruvananthapuram a member of the royal family accompanies the deity for the aarattu in keeping with earlier tradition.