12,001 plantains of ‘padatti’ variety offered to the deity
The ritualistic ‘Pantheerayirom vazhipadu’ in connection with the annual festival at the Sreevallabha temple at Thiruvalla was held on Tuesday.
Hundreds of devotees, including women and children, took part in the procession carrying plantains of a special variety (‘kaali’ or ‘padatti’) to the Sreevallabha temple from the Sree Mahadevar temple in the adjoining village of Thukalasserry in the morning.
As per the custom, a total of 12,001 plantains were offered to the presiding deity as part of the ritual. The auspicious ritual was held as a prelude to the 10-day temple festival that begins on Thursday.
The plantains offered to the deity were distributed as prasadom among the devotees present after the Pantheeradipuja.
Vishnavaites regard the centuries’ old Sreevallabha temple as one among the 108 Tirupatis in the country.
Birth anniversary fete
A meeting to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was also held on the temple premises at 9.30 am on Tuesday.
Ka. Bha. Surendran of the Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, delivered the keynote address. Swami Golokananda, president, Sree Ramakrishna Ashram, Thiruvalla, spoke.
The 10-day temple festival will begin with Kodiyettu ceremony on Thursday. Temple Tantri Agnisarman Narayanan Vasudevan Bhattathirippad of Kuzhikkattu Illom will perform the rituals in connection with the Kodiyeetu and hoist the ceremonial flag between 12.01 p.m. and 12.20 p.m., according to temple devaswom authorities.
Utsavabali ritual will be held at the temple in the afternoon on all days from February 15 to February 22.
The ritualistic Pallivetta will be held on February 22 evening and the annual festival will come to a close with ceremonial Aratt on February 23.