Hundreds of women took part in the ‘Kalamkanippu mahotsavam’ at the Plalakkunnu Bhagavathi temple, near Udma, on Friday. The women carried raw food items in earthen pots on their heads as an offering to propitiate the deity.
The women, hailing from the dominant Ezhava community, visit the temple, situated adjacent to the Kanhangad-Kasaragod State highway at Plalakkunnu, after observing fast for a number of days. They carry raw food articles along with betel leaf and areca nuts and tender coconut leaves.
Women from other communities in and around the region, too, could make the offering to the deity by entrusting the food items to their acquaintances from the Ezhava community.
The devotees were served raw rice porridge along with pickles in the shrine, also unique for its tastefully engraved architectural dome akin those in Tamil Nadu.
Although the temple is widely known for the ‘Bharani mahotsavam’ held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham, in the last week of February, the ‘kalamkanippu’ ritual is similar to Attukaal Pongala in south Kerala.
Though women are considered an integral part of the annual ritual, the temple authorities do not prevent men also from taking part in the event.
After segregating the raw food produce, the temple authorities take painstaking efforts to prepare the delicacies strictly abiding by the set conventions and distribute the “prasadam” to the participant devotees the following day.