KOCHI: Thousands of devotees thronged various temples in the district on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami day to initiate their children into the world of letters. During the Vidyarambham rituals organised by various temple committees, thousands of tiny tots walked into the world of letters and knowledge, marking the end of the Navaratri festival in the state. Children, cutting across religious, caste and class barriers, were made to write the first letters of their lives by acharyas at specially-arranged mandapams in temples and cultural and educational institutions. Heavy rush was witnessed at the Dakshina Mookambika Temple at North Paravur, one of the few Saraswathy temples in the state, and the Chottanikara Devi Temple.
In the Dakshina Mookambika Temple, acharyas led by temple priest Puliyannur Vasudevan Namboothiri and chief priest Ramachandran Potti, performed the ceremony, while priest Ramachandran Embrandiri and chief priest Raman Namboothiri led the rituals in the Chottanikkara Temple. Children clad in new attires seated in front of the traditional ‘Nilavilakku’ as part of the ritual and acharyas wrote ‘Harisree ganapathaye namaha” on their tongues with gold rings. Later, the children were made to write letters with their fingers in rice-filled brass platters.
A handful of rice in which children wrote their first letters has been given to them to practice the same in their houses for the next three days. Serpentine queues of parents with their children were seen right from early morning at various temples. The sanctum sanctorum of the temples were opened at 3 am for the ‘Poojayeduppu’ ceremony, which was followed by Vidhyarambham ceremonies by around 4 am.
The ceremony continued till 2 pm in temples. The other temples which held programmes in connection with the festival included Kalady Thiruvairanykulam Mahadeva temple, Adisankara Janmabhumi temple at Kalady; Pallippuram Sree Krishna temple; Avanamkode temple; Ernakulam Siva temple and Valambur Ponnadi Kavilamma temple.