Narayana Bhattathiri, the oldest member of the Mangattu Illam at Kumaranalloor, and his entourage on Tuesday embarked on a voyage that has preserved the belief of devotees for ages.

Mr. Bhattathiri will lead the customary journey of ‘Thiruvonathoni' that carries provision for the 'Onasadya' (Onam feast) at the Sreeparthasarathy Temple on the banks of the Pampa river at Aranmula.

Legend has it that the deity at the temple made one of the elders of the Kattoor Madhom (in Pathanamthitta) to be his host for every Onam owing to his devoutness. Since then, it has been the privilege of the eldest of the Bhattathiris at the Mangattu Illam to host the ‘Onasadya' for the deity.

Although, generations later, the family had migrated to Kumaranalloor, the tradition continues uninterrupted to this day.

This is the 13th consecutive time that Mr. Bhattathiri has sailed to honour his divine responsibility. His specially-built ‘thoni' (country-boat) will traverse the sacred rivers of Meenachil, Manimala, and Pampa on its way to the Kattoor Mahavishnu Temple on the Uthradom day, the day that precedes Thiru Onam.

Provision for the Onasadya that are offered by devotees will then be taken on the ‘Thiruvonathoni' which will be escorted by a large number of ‘palliyodams' (snake-boats) in a procession on its way to the Sreeparthasarathy Temple at Aranmula.

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