Mannarasala ‘Valia Amma’ offers 'alms' to Oushadha Biksha Yatra

Alappuzha, July 2: Mannarasala ‘Valia Amma’, the Mother Priestess of Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Umadevi Antharjanam offered 'biksha' (alms) as the Oushadha Biksha campaign of Sreedhareeyam Oushadheswari temple today reached the shrine famed for Serpent worship.

Setting aside her health concerns, the highly revered Valia Amma  offered the alms, which marks a centuries old  custom  of pledging  ingredients for  the restorative Ayurvedic preparation,  traditionally consumed by Keralites in the Malayalam month of  Karkitakam to attune their body and mind.

A priest accompanying the Yatra in the vehicle, fashioned as a chariot, received ‘alms' from the mother priestess.

The Valia Amma is the heart and soul of the Mannarasala temple, one of world'svery few shrines where the poojas and rituals are headed by a Brahmin lady. It is one of the ancient shrines of Serpent worship, visited by hundreds every day.

The Yatra, an extensive campaign rolled out last week from Koothattukulam in Ernakulam district to tour the 114 temples in the state to collect medicines and herbs to prepare the special Ayurvedic preparation, entered Alappuzha district  earlier in the day by touching Sree Krishna Swamy Temple.

Devotees will be served the medicine after poojas and rituals at the Oushadheswari temple from the first day month of Karkitakam.

The Yatra also visited Puthiyidam Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi Temple, Mattam Mahadeva Temple, Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Haripad, Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Erattakkulangara Sri Mahadeva Temple, Sri Dharma Sastha Temple, Vandanam, Kidangamparambu Sree Bhuvaneswari Temple.

The Yatra, on its return to the Oushadheswari temple on July 15, will be accorded a rousing reception, followed by dedication of the 14 -foot high Oushadheswari sculpture by Aswathi Tirunal Gowri Lakshmibhai Thampuratti of the Travancore Royal family.


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