Malayalees welcome Chingam with pooja, celebrations

via published on August 17, 2006

Keralites on Thursday welcomed the New Year with celebrations and observing religious rituals on the first day in the month of Chingam of the Malayalam calendar. In the morning, Hindus across the State visited temples and prayed for a prosperous year. Special pooja were performed in almost all the temples on this day. The festival of Onam also falls in this month.

Devotees thronged all the major temples, including the Sree Krishna temple, Guruvayoor and Ayyappa shrine, Sabarimala. The State Government observed the day as “Farmers’ Day” by organising functions in the State capital and at other centres to honour farmers.

Special pooja were conducted at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala under the guidance of new Tanthri Kantarau Rajeevaru. The temple opened for the Chingam pooja on Wednesday evening. Ashtadravya Mahaganapati Homam and special Laksharchana were conducted in the temple. Thousands of devotees were seen standing in queues right from early morning to have darsan. Dignitaries, including Travancore Devaswom Board president G Raman Nair, visited the temple in the morning.

Temples like the Sree Krishna Swamy temple at Amabalappuzha and Chettikkulangara Bhagavathi temple in the southern region of the State also witnessed heavy rush. Hundred of devotees thronged the Vadakkunnathan, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples in Thrissur.

Meanwhile, the Guruvayur temple authorities have reportedly decided to cut the waiting period for the much-in-demand Udayasthamaya pooja, performed as an offering from the devotees from dawn to dusk at the shrine in the temple. The special pooja, performed only on Tuesdays and Fridays, for which the devotee has to shell out Rs 50,000, is fully booked till year 2049, and the current pooja are the ones booked some 14 years back.

Udayasthamaya Pooja is performed only on 110 days a year.

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