A scenic town on the outskirts of Kochi, Aluva is renowned for the annual Sivarathri celebrations, held in honour of Lord Shiva. These are held in the Malayalam month of Kumbam, usually February/March, on the banks of the tranquil Periyar river. Special pujas, offerings and prayers are held during the festival that is organised at the Aluva Manappuram Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. During the day, rituals are performed at the temple by over 500 priests while a sea of devotees gather to pay their respects to the deity. Many of them fast throughout the day. Besides prayers, cultural programmes and trade fairs are also organised. The festival is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Shiva, who drank a deadly poison to save the world.