THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Thousands of devotees offered the ‘Karkidaka vavu bali’ ritual at various locations in the capital on Friday morning.
The popular venues in the capital - Thiruvallom Sree Parasuramaswamy Temple, Shangumugham beach, Varkala Papanasam beach and Aruvikkara temple premises - witnessed heavy rush since early morning.
The Thiruvallom temple authorities said around 50,000 persons offered ‘bali’ at the seven ‘bali mandapams’ on the temple premises. Thirty chief priests and 300 assistants led the ritual. The offering started at 2.30 am and lasted till 2 pm.
Devotees started pouring in the Shangumugham beach since early morning. Scores of priests lined up on the shore guided the devotees to pay obeisance to their departed relatives.
A police team led by Shangumugham Assistant Commissioner Jawahar Janardh camped in the area to control the traffic. The Coast Guard patrol team and lifeguards did a commendable job to ensure the safety of devotees who took the customary dip in the sea. No untoward incidents were reported despite the rough waves.
The Varkala Papanasam beach witnessed an unprecedented rush on the day with devotees arriving since midnight. The Travancore Devaswom Board had deputed 109 priests to guide the devotees. The ritual started at midnight and heavy rush was witnessed till noon. The crowd thinned out in the afternoon but the ritual continued to around 7.30 pm.
Over 10,000 persons arrived on Aruvikkara temple premises to offer the ‘bali’ ritual. This year, the facilities were arranged by the Karkidaka vavu bali organising committee, a forum of devotees.