Temple rituals, poojas should be performed using pure items: Kerala HC

Other than Koovalamala, the offerings by devotees include oil, ghee, camphor bathi, agarbathi and plantain.

Published: 23rd April 2022 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2022 06:42 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The High Court on Friday held that a ritual or pooja in a temple has to be performed  using pure ‘vazhipadu’ and ‘pooja’ items. The Temple Advisory Committee constituted under Section 31A of the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act should keep constant vigil over the sale of vazhipadu/pooja items in the pooja stall situated on the temple premises, to ensure that the monopoly (kuthaka) rights holder is not selling any substandard vazhipadu/pooja items to devotees.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice P G Ajith Kumar said: “A ‘Kuthaka holder’ selling garlands made of stale or dry or decayed leaves or flowers or substandard vazhipadu/pooja items to devotees should be dealt with iron hands by the competent authority in the Travancore Devaswom Board. Such a person deserves no leniency and should be proceeded against in accordance with the relevant provisions.” 

The Bench issued the order while disposing of a suo motu case registered in connection with the irregularities in the sale of vazhipadu items, especially ‘Koovalamala,’ in Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple.
The court also ordered that the Temple Advisory Committee is required to maintain a constant vigil over the sale of vazhipadu/pooja items in Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple, to ensure that no substandard vazhipadu/pooja items are sold by the ‘Kuthaka holder’ to the devotees, from the pooja stall situated within the temple premises. It is the duty of the committee to see that regular traditional rites and ceremonies according to the practice prevalent in the temple are performed promptly.  

Other than Koovalamala, the offerings by devotees include oil, ghee, camphor bathi, agarbathi and plantain. The vazhipadu/pooja items offered by devotees, which are placed in front of Sreekovil, have to be properly accounted for, stored, and used according to the requirement.

The administrative officer shall maintain a proper account of surplus vazhipadu/pooja items like oil, ghee, camphor bathi, agarbathi, which should be used for various rituals, as per the customary practice, to the possible extent. The Assistant Devaswom Commissioner should take necessary action for the installation of a proper CCTV camera surveillance system in Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple, the court said.


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