THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On the auspicious no moon day thousands offered tribute to their ancestors at different locations in the capital on Sunday. This year’s offerings had a rarity as the auspicious time to offer the ritual spanned two days - from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon.
Shanghumugham beach had the largest facility in the district where maximum number of devotees performed the ritual at a time. At a time thousand persons performed bali at this facility arranged by the Travancore Devaswom Board. Rituals started on the beach early in the morning on Sunday.
“Devotees sat in nine full batches and a few small batches thereby making the total number of persons who availed of the facility 10,000,” said TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan.
The board also offered facility for the devotees to perform thilahomam, the fire ritual to propitiate ancestors. Priests conducted the thilahomam ritual on two fireplaces set up on the ancient stone mandapam on the beach.Besides the TDB facility, scores of priests lined up on the shore to help devotees perform the ritual. Personnel of the Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Coast Guard and lifeguards of the Tourism Department were deployed on the beach.Strict monitoring by the lifeguards helped in avoiding casualties despite rough waves.
Bali ritual started at the TDB’s mandapam on the Varkala beach when the nearby Sree Janardhanaswami temple opened for daily poojas. Temple officials said over 4,500 persons offered bali in the mandapam while the total number of thilahomams were above 6,000.
Rituals on the TDB mandapam was monitored by a total of 10 priests including two head priests. Bali offering in the mandapam stopped when the temple closed at 2.30 pm.
In addition to the TDB facility, 116 licensed priests also offered their services. Bali rituals guided by these private priests had started on Saturday evening.
Thiruvalla Sree Parasuramaswami temple, a sacred location where the ritual can be performed on all days, witnessed a huge rush on Sunday. At the temple 3,500 persons could offer bali at a time in eight different mandapams.According to TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan, over 70,000 persons offered bali at the temple.Facility to offer bali was arranged by several temples and organisations in the capital. Thousands offered bali near the famed Aruvikkara temple.Heavy rush was witnessed at the Brahmasthanam temple managed by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math at Kaimanam. Rituals were performed at Amrita Theertham on the banks of the Karamana river.