Today is Mahashivarathri, and being a long weekend, most of my classmates in the hostel have gone home. Last night a few of my friends and I decided to go to Oachira in the morning, to visit the famous ParaBrahma temple there. Although we have been here at Amritapuri for nearly three years, and pass by this temple each time we go to the railway /bus station, none of us had been inside the temple, and what better occasion to visit the place than a festival like shivaratri 🙂
The name Oachira, is supposed to have come from Uvachanchira where Uvachan means Lord Shiva. The Parabrahma temple is Ancient and is believed to be one of the most sacred places in Kerala. Also, it is one of few Indian temples that does not have a covered structure to house the deities. Instead, people worship the ‘Parabrahma'(the original formless power that manifests itself in the 3 supreme forms of God- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) under Banyan Trees. The temple has several huge ancient Banyan trees, and it is the roots of these trees that are worshipped. We spotted several things that had been tied to the trees, offered in prayer-including some ball pens, oil bottles,chits of paper and thousands of ‘japa’ beads.
A ritual called OachiraKali is held at the temple every year around the month of june where two teams of men, skilled in the martial of kalaripayattu engage in a mock combat-recreating the scenes of battles fought over 300 years ago between the kings of Kayamkulam and Venad.
The temple covers an area of roughly 36 acres and the main offering to God is the sand taken from the temple premises. The temple is open to all-irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
We also went to another temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, that is located right next to this one.
Being mahashivaratri, the temple was quite crowded with most people coming in large families. There was also a vehicle with a float of Shiva and Parvati, which will perhaps be taken out later in the day. Reaching the temple takes less than half hour from our college and we are glad we got a chance to go today.
On the return, we picked up some gooseberries and green Mango(yumm..!!). We enjoyed visiting the trip and hope to go back to actually witness the Oachirakali some time :)!
Off to the mess now for lunch, and more importantly to get some salt to sprinkle on the mango 🙂
Till next time-Ciao!