Karkidaka Vavu (the new moon in the Malayalam month of Karkidakam) bali rituals were conducted on a large scale across Kerala on July 28, with thousands thronging temples, beaches, and river banks to pay obeisance to their departed ancestors. The fervour is palpable as many had not been able to do bali tarpan for the last two years owing to the pandemic.
With hardly any COVID-19 restrictions in place, most ritual centres witnessed a huge rush as usual, and rituals too commenced early in the morning — as early as 3 a.m. in certain places.
Well-prepared for the crowd
Under the guidance of respective district administrations, most major temples and ritual sites had been preparing for over a month, making elaborate arrangements to receive the crowd. Pandals that could accommodate hundreds of people at a time had been constructed well before the day, as were facilities for women devotees.
Importance of Karkidaka Vavu bali
As expected, people arrived in large numbers from early morning at the main venues in all the 14 districts. For instance, Thiruvallam Sree Parasurama Swamy temple on the bank of Karamana river, a major bali tarpan point in Thiruvananthapuram district, witnessed hundreds of families and individuals conducting the rituals.
Major ‘bali tarpan’ centres
Apart from famous temples like Sree Parasurama Swamy temple, Aluva Mahadeva temple (Ernakulam), Thirunavaya Navamukunda temple (Malappuram) and Sree Thirunelli Mahavishnu temple (Wayanad), rituals were observed on a large scale at sacred beaches and river banks such as Varkala Papanasam beach (Thiruvananthapuram), Thirumullavaram beach (Kollam) near Thirumullavaram Sree Maha Vishnu Swami temple, Santhitheeram near Shoranur (Palakkad), and Kozhikode Varakkal beach.