VELLORE: With rain gods turning their gaze towards villages bordering Andhra Pradesh near Vaniyambadi, a 200-year-old tradition is getting a head start.
The district has so far received an average of 100 cm of rain in the last three days, with places around Vaniyambadi receiving most of it. Such a heavy downpour has not hit the area in the last 15 years.
On Tuesday alone, Vaniyambadi recorded 78.5 mm rainfall, followed by Alangayam with 57.6 mm and Tirupattur with 51 mm. Rainfall of similar intensity in the bordering AP hills, a catchment area of the Palar, has helped water gush in, despite the check dams constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government in the upstream of the Palar.
Spiritual activist G Nagaraj of Ambalur said Kodaiyanji, located 14 km downstream Pullur in AP from where the Palar enter TN state, is a spiritually significant village, where people perform rituals (pithru pooja) during Tamil month of Aadi. They offer a ‘thithi’ to their ancestors on the river bank at Kodaiyanji. Kodaiyanji was originally called ‘Kodai Kasi’, a place synonymous with Kasi. The village temple once had Chola kings and Tipu Sultan as patrons.
The ‘sthalapurana’ has it that a young man was carrying the ashes of his parents to Kasi, after he lost both of them. When he reached the Palar, he saw the ashes turn into jasmine flowers. An amazed man then decided to perform the last rites of his parents there. He also hailed the place as ‘Kodai Kasi’ (an alternative Kasi from the almighty).
Taking bath in the Palar and making sand lingams during Aadi Perukku is a 200-year-old tradition. However, the ritual has gone without water for the past 15 years. The rituals took a serious hit, when the Palar stopped flooding in the recent past, thanks to the check dams built by Andhra Pradesh to block waterflow into the river. But this time around, the unexpected rains revived hopes of locals on performing the rituals for Adi Perukku, which falls on Thursday.
Environmental activist A Asokan said the Palar would have flooded half its course in Vellore district by now, if there were no check dams upstream. It would also have recharged the underground water in the entire belt.
Mettur dam to release water
In view of Aadi Perukku on Thursday, 2,500 cusecs of water would be released from Mettur dam. People along the banks of Cauvery will take a holy dip as part of the rituals