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Munnuthitha Nangai, the deity of Suchindram Temple, was taken in a ceremonial procession to Padmanabhapuram Palace to take part in the inter-State Navaratri festival on Wednesday morning.

Traditionally, the Kerala police band would receive the deity and take it in a procession to the palace. The decades-old tradition was broken this year as they failed to turn up in Suchindram on Wednesday morning.

Finally, the deity was taken in a procession to Padmanabhapuram palace after a guard of honour presented by the Tamil Nadu police.

Earlier, the deity was carried in a palanquin along Mada Veedhi of Suchindarm Sthanumalayan Temple. The deity reached Neelakandaswamy Temple in Kalkulam in the night.

Navaratri is celebrated with grandeur and fervour in Kanniyakumari district during the first 10 days of the month of Kanni (September-October) of the Malayalam calendar, from the days of Travancore-Cochin Kings.

The palace at Padmanabhapuram, the capital of the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State, is a major centre where Navaratri festival is celebrated in regal splendour. The idol from Suchindram Temple, along with idols of Goddess Saraswati from Thevarakattu Temple at Padmanabapuram Palace and Lord Velayudhaperumal (Murugan) from Velimalai in Kumaracoil, will be taken to Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram in a ceremonial procession prior to the commencement of the festival. The deities will return to their respective abodes after the Navaratri festival. The sword of the erstwhile Travancore Maharajas, kept in ‘Upparika Malika’, would begin its journey to Thiruvananthapuram from Padmanabhapuram Palace between 7.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, in the presence of Kerala Ministers, sources in the Palace said.