The pilgrim tourism development project at Lokanarkavu Temple in Vadakara is expected to be completed by March 2023. K.P. Kunhammed Kutty Master, MLA, said in a press release that the State government had allotted ₹4.5 crore for the project, that includes 14 bath-attached guest rooms, a 11-bed dormitory and a kalari. The project has been undertaken by the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society.
Work taken up with the ₹3.74 crore allotted by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board is also in progress. It mainly includes a priests' quarters, dining hall, paving tiles around the Vishnu temple, and building a compound wall around the pond.
The project, which was earlier part of the Thalassery Heritage Project, includes the thorough renovation of the 1,500-year-old temple that enjoys a special place in the 'Vadakkan Pattukal' (Ballads of North Kerala).
According to the ballads, Thacholi Othenan, a famed warrior of the region, used to be a regular visitor to the temple and a staunch devotee of Lokanarkavilamma (the deity of the temple, Goddess Durga). There are references of the temple in most stories of the Vadakkan Pattukal, the themes of which are mostly exploits of warriors trained in Kalaripayattu. Students of Kalaripayattu continue to worship at the temple before their first public performance. Hence, the development of a kalari (where students are trained in the martial art form) on the temple premises is one of the major components of the project.