Tamil Nadu

'Rail adukku pathiram' stands the test of time

The rail adukku pathiram, which consists of 14 vessels of different sizes, neatly placed in a compact manner inside the largest container, has become the cynosure of all eyes over the past few days.

Many in Tamil Nadu had forgotten about the existence of the multi-layered vessel until a video surfaced online recently, and has since gone viral on mobile messaging platforms.


The credit for creating a newfound interest in the container, goes to a family in Sivaganga, which has been using the rail adukku pathiram for nearly the past 150 years.

S. Meera, 45, the woman behind the viral video, says that the vessel was gifted to her grandmother by the latter’s mother. “My grandmother’s name — Padmasani — is engraved on the vessel,” she says.

She explains that the rail adukku pathiram has two vessels to cook vegetables, a sippal plate to boil rice, a frying pan, a sombu, a bronze pot to carry water and vessels of varying sizes to cook food.

“Using these vessels we can cook food for a mini-wedding. The interesting aspect is that the rail adukku pathiram is compact in size and is easy to carry,” she adds.

A video of her explaining the purpose of these vessels was uploaded on her YouTube channel — Parambariya Pokkishangal — four months ago.

However, it was during the lockdown period that the video became viral and was shared on multiple social media platforms, she says.

“The vessel is known as rail adukku pathiram, as it was earlier used by families to carry groceries and cook food during train journeys. As there were no hotels or eateries during those days, people used to carry these vessels to cook during long journeys. I have even heard that my grandmother once used the vessel to cook food during a trip to Tirupati,” says Ms. Meera.

She adds that the rail adukku pathiram is a family treasure cherished by them. “Though we are not frequently using these vessels nowadays, I explain the purpose of the vessel to my children and tell them the importance of preserving our tradition,” she says.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:15:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rail-adukku-pathiram-stands-the-test-of-time/article31675130.ece

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