Thousands offer ‘bali’ on designated spots on river banks and beaches across the district

A rain-free day on Tuesday and arrangements by authorities helped thousands of people offer prayers to their ancestors in peace on the occasion of ‘Karkkidaka Vavu’ at various spots across the district on Tuesday.

The rituals began at 3 a.m. this morning, with the Parasurama Temple at Thiruvallam and the Shanghumugham beach, apart from the Papanasham beach and the Janardhana Swamy Temple at Varkala, being the most thronged spots.

Other temples, riverside ghats, the Aruvikkara temple, Aruvipuram, Veli and Kochuveli, Poovar, Neyyar, the Vellayani Thrikkulangara Temple, and the Thrikkannapuram Temple too witnessed large crowds from morning till late into the day.

There was no rain for most part of the day in the city, while there were slight drizzles in other parts of the district, but none to the scale that would deter or disturb the special prayers.

At Thiruvallam, arrangements were by the Travancore Devaswom Board to enable 3,000 people offer ‘bali’ simultaneously. Officials of the rank of Deputy Devaswom Commissioners oversaw the proceedings at Thiruvallam, where five ‘bali’ mandapams were installed inside the temple — two in front of the temple and one each at the temple ghat and on the other side of the ghat across the river as well. Sixty priests led the rituals.

Services of the police, Health department, Kerala Water Authority, Kerala State Electricity Board, the KSRTC, which operated special services, and the Fire Force were available for the devotees.

At the Varkala Janardhana Swami Temple, temporary sheds were put up while priests who were provided with the TDB’s licence led the rituals.

Separate arrangements

At Shangumugham, though the sea swallowed large portions of the beach, arrangements were made to help the public offer bali and to conduct the rituals slightly closer to the road and the walkway. Similar arrangements were made at the Papanasham beach too.

Cleaning works by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation and other local bodies are expected to begin early on Wednesday.

Devaswom Board Commissioner P. Venugopal told The Hindu that the proceedings passed off smoothly. The total number of people who offered ‘bali’ at Thiruvallam and other areas where the TDB had made arrangements were expected on Wednesday, he added.