The mood was festive in the heritage hamlet of Aranmula. It was a ceremonial start to the annual season of Vallasadya at Sree Parthasarathy Temple situated on the banks of river Pampa on Sunday.
Hundreds of devotees thronged Aranmula, braving the rain, to witness the ceremony and partake of the ritualistic feast, Vallasadya, offered to the crew of palliyodams (snakeboats).
Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president A. Padmakumar inaugurated the Vallasadya in the presence of Nair Service Society (NSS) president P.N. Narendranathan Nair immediately after the Utchapuja. The TDB chief and Mr. Nair served the inaugural feast.
K.P. Sankaradas, TDB member; N. Vasu, Devaswom Commissioner; Krishnakumar B. Krishnaveni, president, Palliyoda Seva Sanghom (PSS), apex body of the 52 Palliyoda Karayogams that organises the annual event; and P.R. Radhakrishnan, Sanghom secretary; attended the ceremony.
The atmosphere was charged with the rhythmic Vanchippattu, verses in praise of Lord Parthasarathy.
Crew of the snakeboats belonging to the palliyoda karayogams of Maramon, Thekkemuri, and Koipram partook of the feast on the first day. The PSS leaders received the crew who first reached the temple ghats.
The boat crew reached the temple precincts, singing Vanchippattu. They offered tobacco, betel leaves and areca nuts before the temple mast. The boat crew and other devotees were served with the sumptuous feast at the Oottupura (dining hall) and other temporary pandals erected at the temple precincts.
The boat crew demanding special dishes in Vanchippattu style was an added attraction of the Vallasadya. The 79-day Vallasadya will come to a close on October 2.
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