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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