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IN DEEP DEVOTION: Devotees carrying tender coconuts to Kottiyur Siva Temple in Kannur on Friday ahead of the `Ilaneerveppu' ritual beginning Saturday.
IN DEEP DEVOTION: Devotees carrying tender coconuts to Kottiyur Siva Temple in Kannur on Friday ahead of the `Ilaneerveppu' ritual beginning Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Vaishakha festival will conclude on July 5 with `Thrikkalasattam'

KANNUR: A large number of devotees are visiting the sacred Siva Temple at Kottiyur here to pray and bestow offerings on the occasion of the month-long Vaishakha festival which began on June 8.

The flow of devotees is expected to grow in the coming days when important rituals will be performed.

Every year thousands of devotees from different parts of the region and neighbouring States visit the temple during the festival, which begins on Chothi in the Malayalam month of Idavam and culminates on Chithira in the month of Mithunam.

This year the festival will conclude on July 5 with `Thrikkalasattam.'

The temple, on the banks of the Bavali river in the eastern part of the district, is believed to be located on the spot of an ancient Dakshayaga. The devotees pour ghee and tender coconut water on the granite stone at the temple, believed to be a Swayambhu Sivalinga.

Temple official C. Haridas told a press conference here on Friday that all arrangements had been made for the devotees visiting the temple.

The temple authorities had set up information centres at the Akkare and Ikkare temples. Sanitation activities are being carried out with the assistance of the Peravur block panchayat and the Kottiyur grama panchayat. Mr. Haridas said special arrangements had been made for women devotees.

The temple will witness a surge of devotees when `Ilaneerveppu' ritual starts on June 17. Rohini puja, another important ritual, will be held on June 24.

The devotees visiting the temple also visit the sacred premises of the Akkare temple where there is no permanent structure. They go around the `manithara,' a small mound of granite boulders, bowing down before the Sivalinga there. The Akkare premises will be deserted after the festival is over. During the Thrikkalasattam ritual, priests gather at the Ikkare temple and perform rituals and make floral offerings to the deity.

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