Kerala

Muted kavutheendal at Kodungalloor temple

Ritual performed on Friday with just one person

There were no frenzied mobs of devotees. Oracles, in trance with their bleeding foreheads smeared with sandal and turmeric, did not dance hysterically brandishing their swords with bells.

For the first time in history, the kavutheendal ceremony of the Meena Bharani festival at Sri Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple, Kodungalloor, was observed on Friday sans the usual volatile celebrations.

In the wake of the lockdown declared by the government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the kavutheendal ritual, considered the largest congregation of oracles in the world, was observed on Friday with just one person.

Palakka Velan Devidasan, representative of the Velan community, did the kavutheendal (polluting the temple) ritual. It is a ritual based on the notions of purity/impurity inherent in Brahminical Hinduism. According to popular narratives, Sri Kurumba Bhagavathy is identified with Kannagi of Silappathikaram and also with the Kali-Darika story, part of Bhagavathy cult in Kerala.

On Friday, Ragunandanan Raja, representative of the royal family of Kodungalloor, reached the temple by 8 a.m. Considering the special situation, he walked to the temple, avoiding the palanquin, the usual practice of celebration, and gave permission for pujas.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 10:19:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/muted-kavutheendal-at-temple/article31187039.ece

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