Akathethara’s Indira Gandhi connection

HELD HIGH: At the Kallekulangara Hemambika temple.

HELD HIGH: At the Kallekulangara Hemambika temple.  

She visited the Hemambika temple where the idol is a pair of hands to express her gratitude to the deity for her poll win.

Akathethara, nearly 5 km from Palakkad town, on the route to the Malampuzha Dam, recalls the visit of the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi whenever elections approach.

Nearly 27 years ago, Mrs. Gandhi visited Akathethara for prayers at the Kallekulangara Hemambika temple.

She came here when she was returned to power after tasting defeat in the post-Emergency elections. In that successful poll-run, her symbol was ‘hand’ that brought her luck.

The idol at Hemambika is a pair of hands, symbolising security and fearlessness.

When the then Chief Minister K. Karunakaran and Soundara Kailasam, wife of Justice Kailasam, told her of the temple with the hands as the idol, Mrs. Gandhi wanted to visit it.

The visit took place on December 13, 1982. From the helipad set up especially for her visit, she went directly to the temple and stayed there for a long time.

The visit was an expression of gratitude to the deity, which was her symbol and had brought her luck. She also inaugurated a rural drinking water supply scheme at Akathethara panchayat.

Akathethara, which has a close connection with the royal families of Palakkad, gave Mrs. Gandhi a royal welcome.

The representative of the ‘Raja’ of Palakkad presented her a golden locket with hand ingrained.

The people of Palakkad preserve golden memories of that visit, especially when they go through the din and dust of election campaigns.

G. Prabhakaran

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