Friday, February 19, 2010

‘kuthiyottam' at the ‘kalari' in Aranmula

The ‘Kuthiyotta-kalari' in the legendary land of Thottathumannil in Aranmula is turning out to be major religious event in Central Travancore. ‘Kuthiyottam' is associated with the ritualistic dance at the Kumbha Bharani festival at Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, near Mavelikara in Alappuzha district. This is the first time that a kalari of `kuthiyottam' is being organised in Aranmula.

The ‘kuthiyotta-kalari' has been organised on the ancestral property of the Thottathumannil Nair family at Aranmula from where the wooden idol of the Chettikulangara temple had its genesis a century ago.

Capt. T.K. Raveendran Nair of Aranmula who is offering a twin ‘kuthiyottam' at Chettikulangara Devi Temple this year told The Hindu that the idol used for the ‘Chaanthaattom' vazhipadu at the temple was carved out of a special variety of jack tree that stood on his ancestral property near Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple a century ago.

‘Kuthiyottam,' which has its custom and tradition rooted in human sacrifice (‘Narabali'), involves adoption of a boy child by the devotee who gives him as ‘vazhipadu' (offering) to the deity at Chettikulangara on Bharani asterism in the Malayalam month of Kumbhom.

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