Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oachira Kali at Oachira temple in Kollam District of Kerala

About Oachira temple in the Kollam District
Oachira is a small town in the district of Kollam in Kerala.  There is a temple  in Oachira, a well known tourist destination since the temple is of the Parabrahma Murthy or the Omkara Murthy who is considered to be a supreme God who has no idol worship here.  Only the Aal Tharas are prayed upon and Pradakshinams done around these Banyan tree foundations. 

History of the Oachirakali of the Oachira temple
There is an historical back ground for this annual festival.  There was a war 300 yearss ago  between the kingdoms of Kayankulam and Venad on the paddy fields of Oachira. This Oachirakali is conducted  to commemorate  that fight  and the historical evenet which took place then. 

About  Oachirakali in the Oachira Temple
Oachirakali  is one festival celebrated in Oachira Temple in the month of  June every year.  This is a unique festival in the sense that it marks the battle that were held 300 years ago between Kayankulam and the Venad kingdoms on the paddy fields of Oachira. The Oachira kali festival  involves a mock fight among the two kalaripayattu groups with a display of  martial arts, representing different regions,  on the two fields, Padanilam, set up for this purpose.   They stand in knee deep water, brandish swords and shields  and splashing water on all sides.
On the Day of Oachira kali / Play at Oachira
Before starting the Kali / Play the participants undergo 41 days vratam. The presiding deity Lord Shiva is taken out of the temple in a procession  and the warriors who participate in the kali / play follow the procession  to the field.  
The mock fight of the two groups start off  and in the evening they stop their fight and pledge to return the next day.  Again on the second day the fight starts and the winners are chosen by the evening.  The prizes are distributed  to the best warriors.  

Cattle and Agricultural fair at Oachira in Kollam
There are two Karas  on the east and west of the Oachira  which form themselcves into two groups  under the leadership of a kalari Asaan. After this mock fight / Ochira kali there is a cattle and agricultural fair is held inside the Padanilam. 

How to Reach Oachira
Oachira is easily accessible as the temple is located on the National Highway 47 which runs towards Thiruvananthpuram via Kollam.  The temple is located on the west of the national Highway. 

If you are travelling by air you can reach either Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram airport and take to the National highway 47. You can see many buses running on the route and the temple can be seen fromthe road itself.  

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