Thiruvananthapuram, June 30: On a state-wide campaign seeking divine blessings for a healthy society, the Oushadha Biksha Yatra of the Nelliakkattu Sreedhareeyam Oushadheswari temple of Koothattukulam today passed through major temples in the city including the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple and the Attukal Bhagavathy temple, marked by big turn-out of devotees.
Senior legislator K Muraleedharan turned up to receive the campaign as it reached the Karikkakom Chamundeswari temple, where a large number of devotees had gathered to pray and make offerings to the Oushadheswari (Goddess of Welness).
After making the symbolic offering of ‘Thriphala’ and ghee as befits the tradition, Muraleedharan lauded the mission under taken by Sreedhareeyam on a major scale, stressing that healthy people are the greatest assets of a strong nation.
“ It has been a traditional practice of Keralites to take Ayrvedic medicines in the Malayalam month of Karkitakam to attune the body and physic. But due to the rush of life in modern times, people often miss this. This campaign will remind the people of the need to pay some attention to their health”, Muraleedharan, MLA of Vattiyurkavu in the state capital, said.
The Yatra, flagged off from the Oushadheswari temple at Koothattuklam earlier this week to tour 114 temples in the length and breadth of the state, resumed the fourth day’s journey from the Attukal Bhagavathy temple, renowned world over for the Pongala festival when women assemble in thousands.
Its next stop-over was at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, where also devotees were present in large numbers to receive the campaign and make offerings .
The specially decorated vehicle, fashioned as a chariot, carries the lighted traditional lamp and the idol of Goddess Oushadheswari (the Goddess of wellness).
On its way, the Yatra had touched Sreedharamangalam Maha Vishnu temple, Major Thonal Devi Temple and Varkala Janardhanaswamy Temple in the district before entering the city.
On Sunday, the campaign will touch various temples of Kollam district before rolling on to Alappuzha district.
The Yatra has evoked tremendous response en route with devotees turning up in large numbers to offer ‘ alms’ in the form of Thriphala and ghee, which will be used as ingredients to make the medicine to be distributed to people during the month of Karkitakam.
The Yatra has been planned in two stretches, with the first leg touring south Kerala down to Valiyasala in Thiruvananthapuram, covering 28 temples. The second leg of the Yatra will start from Thiruvananthapuram and go up to Neeleswaram in Kasargode district.
It has been a centuries old tradition in Kerala to prepare medicines and follow a strict regimen of simple diet and oil bath in the month of Karkitakam (broadly July-August ), which will re-energise the body and mind.
The devotees will be served the medicine after poojas and rituals at the Oushadheswari temple from the first day month of Karkitakam.
The Yatra will conclude on July 15.
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