Special religious rituals and public meetings were among the events that marked the commencement of the year-long ‘navathi' celebrations of the head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, here, on Saturday.

After prayers at the temple inside the Pattom Palace early on Saturday morning, Uthradom Tirunal left for the Bhajanappura Palace in the Fort area where he witnessed a ‘Ganapathi homam' This was followed by his customary visit to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

The former ‘Yuvaraja' placed ‘Pattu' and ‘Kanikka' at the ‘Ottakkal mandapam' of the temple. He also reportedly placed one gold sovereign at the shrine. Similar Kanikka was offered at the shrines of Narasimha moorthy, Vishwaksenan and Krishna. Offerings were also made to the deities at the Thevarappura. Uthradom Tirunal also carried out a ‘Godanam' to mark the special occasion.

At the Krishnavilasom Palace, the employees of the temple arranged a programme to felicitate Uthradom Tirunal. At the Rangavilasom Palace felicitations were offered to him by the Temple Trust. Transport Minister V. S. Sivakumar too dropped by to offer a ‘Ponnada' to Uthradom Tirunal.

Scholarship scheme

A scholarship scheme for the children of Padmanabhaswamy Temple employees was also launched on the occasion. At a special puja at the Bhajanappura Palace a ‘pushpabhishekam' was done on Uthradom Tirunal.

Members of the royal family were among those who joined Uthradom Tirunal for a traditional ‘sadya' at the Levie Hall in the Fort area. The District Collector was among those who offered felicitations to Uthradom Tirunal at the Pattom Palace in the afternoon.

After participating in a public meeting in the evening at the Nisagandhi auditorium, Uthradom Tirunal also attended a concert by singer Hariharan and Mandolin maestro U. Srinivas. He rounded up the day by participating in a ‘Chiurappu' at the Kowdiar palace.