All set for Thiruvonathoni procession to Aranmula

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Devotees launching the temple vessel, Thiruvonathoni, into river Pampa at Aranmula on Monday.

18 Nair families will offer provisions and vegetables for the traditional feast

With hardly two days left for the Thiruvonam day, the heritage village of Aranmula has slipped into a festive mood.

The authorities of the centuries’ old Sree Parthasarathy Temple on the banks of river Pampa at Aranmula have made elaborate arrangements for the customary annual procession carrying provisions and vegetables in the Garuda-faced temple vessel, Thiruvonathoni, from Kattoor in the upstream of Kozhencherry for the annual Onam feast to be held at the temple on Wednesday. The decorated Thiruvonathoni was launched into river Pampa on Monday and taken to Kattoor.

The temple vessel will set off to Aranmula from the Maha Vishnu Temple ghats at Kattoor on Onam eve on Tuesday. Following the tradition, Narayana Bhattathiri, eldest member of the Mangattu Illom at Kumaranalloor near Kottayam, will lead the customary ceremonial procession, escorted by Palliyodams (snakeboats), to Aranmula.

As it being the custom and tradition, 18 Nair families in Kattoor village will offer provisions and vegetables for the annual Onam feast (Onasadya) at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. It will be transported to Aranmula in the Thiruvonathoni immediately after the deeparadhana at the Kattoor Maha Vishnu Temple on Tuesday.

Legend has it that the Bhattathiri of the Kattoor Madhom used to offer a sumptuous feast to a Brahmin on every Thiruvonam day.

The Bhattathiri was upset as no Brahmin turned up to accept his Onasadya on a particular Thiruvonam day.

A grief-stricken Bhattathiri prayed in tears to Lord Krishna and in the next few minutes a Brahmin boy appeared there, seeking alms. The Bhattatthiri received the boy with reverence and served him with the feast and new clothes (Onappudava).

While returning, the Brahmin boy asked Bhattathiri to take the Onasadya to the Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula from the next year onwards.

The descendants of Bhattathiri had moved from Kattoor to Kumaranalloor in Kottayam district, later. As time passed by, devotees in Kattoor and surrounding villages continued the custom by offering rice, vegetables, provisions, and other articles to the Kattoor Maha Vishnu Temple for preparing the Onam feast at the Aranmula temple.

Early morning

The Thiruvonathoni, carrying articles for the Onasadya, will reach the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple ghats in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The feast will be prepared at the temple kitchen and will be served to the devotees at the temple dining hall (Oottupura) immediately after the Utchapuja on Wednesday.

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