Paddy for ‘Niraputhari' reaped from Putharikandam Maidan

The ‘puthari' for this year's Niraputhari ritual was offered to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple on Thursday.

Mayor K. Chandrika led the harvest of paddy spikes from the 23-cent field created at the eastern side of the Putharikandam Maidan. Traditional harvest songs (‘koithu patu') played at the venue lent a festive mood.

Inaugurating the function, Minister for Devasom V.S. Sivakumar said space issues were a hindrance to farming activities in cities. But area under cultivation was found dwindling in villages too. This harvest is to rekindle the memories of a lost culture and tell the new generation of our traditions, he said.

The paddy stacks were carried to the temple in a procession. members of the Area Development Society (ADS), Kudumbasree, and students from Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Manacaud took part in the procession.

The Mayor formally offered a stack to Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the head of the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore at the ‘mandapam' on the banks of the Padmatheertham temple tank.

“It is a privilege to carry these stacks. The tradition is of great importance to the people of the city,” ADS member P. Ambili said. Members of the Karshika Karmasena distributed a booklet on organic farming along with a packet of vegetable seeds to those gathered.

The paddy stacks will be offered to the deity on Friday as per the traditions of the Niraputhari festival which falls on Friday this time. Paddy cultivation was taken up inside the ‘maidan' last year as part of a project to beautify the grounds. During the days of the erstwhile Travancore, the entire ‘maidan' was a paddy field. The harvested crop served the needs of the temple and the Kowdiar palace, the residence of the ruling family.