Garudan Thookkam ritual offering of devotees in Sri Sarkara Devi Temple Kerala India.Rituals Kite Swinging or Eagle Hanging

Garudan Thookkam ritual was conducted on the annual festival of Meenabharani in the Sarkara Temple was staged in the highly devotional and self - torturing act of offering the Thookkam (hook swinging ) on the tenth day which also fell in the asterism of Bharani the birth star of Devi. So it assumes special significance among the varied rituals in the Sarkara Temple and attracts devotees in thousands from far and wide.Thookkam is not a performing art which enterains the audience, but it attracts a number of spectators. Literally, it means hook swinging and is an act of self - mortification indulged in by a person is fulfillment of vows made by him to Goddess Kali in order to propitiate her. The former has to under go strict penance for forty-one days. During this period he abstains from animal food, intoxicants and worldly pleasures and visit the temple every morning after bath. His body is also rubbed with oil every morning in order that it is made ready for the hook. Thus the hook - swinger is prepared in mind and body to the achieve the perseverance needed in the final act. For the actual performance a sort of car is made which will rest on two axils with four wheels. A horizontal beam resting on two vertical supports is set up on this. Together they are known as Thookkavillu.The hook which is inserted on the back of the performer is connected to a ring attached to the beam by means of a strong rope. That part of beam is decorated with flags, flowers and tender leaves of the coconut tree. He is then raised or hauled up or lowered by holding a strong rope tied to the bottom of the beam.Garudan Thookkam (kite swinging) is the primary offering in the Sarkara Temple.In the Garudan Thookkamthe performer paints his face green with a red colored beak resembling that of the kite.Photograph taken from the Sarkara Devi Temple (Chirayinkeezhu ,Trivandrum,,Kerala,India)

Garudan Thookkam More stills

Keywords:Garudan Thookkam, devotees,Sri Sarkara Devi Temple ,Rituals Kite Swinging , Eagle Hanging,Meenabharani , Bharani , birth star ,Devi,temple,swinger ,Thookkavillu, flags, flowers ,tender leaves , coconut tree,kite swinging