Bali Tharpanam | Photo: Rahul GR, Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of people performed the 'bali tharpanam" ritual in Kerala on Thursday on the auspicious 'karkkidaka vavu' day, paying homage to their ancestors along rivers banks, temple ghats and sea shores across the state.
Unlike the last two years when strict restrictions were in place due to covid-19, people had a smooth and hassle-free 'bali tharpanam' day this time.
Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple, Aruvippuram and Varkala Papanasam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram district, banks of Periyar river in Ernakulam district and Tirunelli temple ghats in Wayanad district were among the major centers which witnessed heavy rush by devotees to perform the ritual.
People belonging to the Hindu community, irrespective of their age and gender barriers, thronged beaches and river banks in large numbers since early morning to conduct 'bali'.
According to Hindu belief, departed souls attain "moksha" (emancipation) if "bali' is offered on "karkkidaka vavu", the no moon day in the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam.
State Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan said strict instructions have been given to District Collectors to make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of the ritual in the respective places.
"During the last two years, the ritual could not be conducted due to the covid-19 spread. This time elaborate arrangements have been made in all major centres including in Aluva, Thiruvallom and Varkala, for the smooth conducting of the Bali ritual," he said.
Prabhakaran Nair, 75, who performed bali at the ghats of his village temple on the outskirts of the city in the early morning, said he was feeling relieved as he could conduct the ritual this time.
"I have been performing the ritual for my departed parents throughout these years without any fail. It was such a pain that I could not conduct bali for them last two years due to pandemic spread," he told PTI.
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), a temple body, respective district administrations and police have made arrangements to help people offer 'bali tharpanam' at important places.
Steps were taken to observe green protocol in many places for offering 'bali'.
Non-degradable articles including plastic water bottles, carry bags, aluminum foil have been banned at the ritual centers, temple sources said.