THRISSUR: Kodathi Vilakku, held as part of the Ekadasi festival at the Lord Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, got its name perhaps due to the fact that it was started by a Muslim munsiff named Keyi at the Chavakkad court more than a century ago. A trust formed by advocates at the court continued the practice.
Earlier, Guruvayur temple used to have just one week of ‘vilakku’ offerings for Ekadasi, with temple workers and privileged members of society offering it. Later, as the vilakku gained popularity, local merchants, police officials and others too joined. The ritual became a group offering, with its members staging cultural performances on that evening of the vilakku day.
“Over years, many judges have been joining Kodathi Vilakku voluntarily. They did it not in their official capacities as it is the Guruvayur Ekadasi Kodathi Vilakku committee which books the offering. However, instead of mentioning the trust’s name, the devaswom continued to use Kodathi Vilakku. Just because the term Police Vilakku is being used by the devaswom, it doesn’t mean that the state police department is making the offering,” said a source on condition of anonymity.
Chavakkad Bar Association president Siju Muttath said the association was not part of the offering and it has been managed exclusively by the trust. However, the official document provided by the devaswom clearly mentions Munsif, Chavakkad Munsif Court, as the person who offers the vilakku.
Guruvayur Ekadasi falls on December 3 this year while the vilakku offerings will begin on Friday. Kodathi Vilakku is scheduled for November 5 and Police Vilakku, offered by the Guruvayur Inspector, on November 10.