Devotees throng as Oushadha Biksha Yatra passes through temples in Kollam


Kollam, July 1: Devotees turned up in large numbers to offer prayers and make symbolic offering of  medicinal  ingredients  as the Oushadha Biksha Yatra of  the Nelliakkattu Sreedhareeyam Oushadheswari  temple of Koothattukulam  passed through different  temples in Kollam district today.

The road show,  set  out last week from the Oushadheswari temple in Koothattukulam to cover 114 shrines across  Kerala , marks the revival of a unique  tradition of invoking divine blessings for the wellness of the society, ahead of  the month of Karkitakam of Malayalam calendar.

 The specially decorated vehicle, fashioned as a chariot with  the lighted traditional lamp and the idol of Goddess Oushadheswari (the Goddess of wellness) installed in it,  started  its day’s tour from Asramam Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple.

People thronged in large numbers at all the temples it passed through to worship Oushadheswari and make symbolic offering of ‘thriphala’ and ghee, as befits the tradition.

Departing  from the  practice followed by other shrines, the authorities of Mulankatakam Devi temple chose to  offer lemon to the Yatra, as per the local tradition.

Its itinerary for the day included Asramam Sree Krishnaswamy temple, Anandavalleeswaram Mahadeva temple, Vallikeezhu Bhagavathy temple, Kottankulangara Devi temple, Panmana Subrahmanya temple, Padanayar Kulangara Mahadeva temple, Puthiyakavu Bhagavathy temple, Valiyakulangara Devi temple and Ochira Parabrahma temple.

The campaign will enter Alappuzha district through the Sree Krishnaswamy temple at Kayamkulam on Monday. 

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 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 go up to Neeleswaram in Kasargode district.

It has been a centuries old tradition in  Kerala to prepare special restorative 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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