Kochi, July 1: TheOushadhaBikshaYatraof theNelliakkattuSreedhareeyamOushadheswari temple of Koothattukulam , set outto cover 114 temples across the state seeking divine blessings for a healthy society, will be touring temples in Ernakulam district on July 3.
The Yatrarevives the centuries-oldpractice of collecting from people the ingredients for making the restorativeAyurvedic medicinal preparation consumed by Keralites in the month of Karkitakam of Malayalam calendar, to attune their body and mind.
The specially decorated vehicle modelled as a chariot, which had already journeyed to several temples in the southern districts since it was flagged off on June 27, carries the lighted traditional lamp and the idol of Oushadheswari (the Goddess of wellness).
LokSabha member and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman,Shri K V Thomas , and other distinguished personalities, will turn up to receive the Yatra and make symbolic offering of medicines, as befits the tradition.
The Yatra will be entering the district after stop-over in various temples in Alappuzha district, including Kanichukulangara Devi temple, ThiruvizhaMahadeva temple ,CherthalaKarthiyayani temple and ThuravoorMahadeva temple.
In Ernakulam, the first destination of the campaign will be EdakochiSreeKrishnaswamy temple and roll on to VeliyilSreeBhavaneeswari temple and Azhakiyakavu temple before winding up the day’s tour atErnakulamMahadeva temple by evening.
The Yatra has evoked overwhelming response en route with devotees thronging to offer ‘biksha‘ (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.
It has been a centuries old tradition in Kerala to take specially prepared Ayurvedic 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 of the month of Karkitakam.
The Yatra has been planned in two stretches, with the first leg of it touring south Kerala, covering 28 temples. The second leg of the Yatra will start from Thiruvananthapuram and go up to Neeleswaram in Kasargode district.
The Yatra will conclude on July 15.
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