Thousands of men and women offered ‘bali' to propitiate their ancestors on the occasion of ‘Karikkdaka vavu' on Saturday.

Various government agencies, including the Travancore Devaswom Board, had made elaborate arrangements for the ritual at Parasurama Temple at Thiruvallam, Papanasam at Varkala, Aruvippuram, Aruvikkara, Shanghumughom, Thrikkannapuram, Karamana and at Chirakkara.

Though the designated time for offering bali opened early Saturday, hundreds set out from their homes soon after midnight to be the first ones to offer their prayers at the designated places. Through Saturday morning, the ‘bali ghats' reverberated with rhythmic chants as successive batches of people sat down for the observance.

The 100-odd special shower systems erected at the ghats operated continuously for hours. The KSRTC ran special bus services to various ghats. Around 400 police personnel, including 75 traffic policemen and 35 women civil police officers, were deployed at the ghats.

A press note issued here said Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar performed the ‘bali' rituals on the Shanghumughom beach at 5 a.m. Speaker G. Karthikeyan offered ‘bali' at Aruvikkara.