The Nalambalam Yathra and its message of sacrifice


Another Karkkidakom (Malayalam month starting mid July to mid August) has rolled in, carrying with it the tales from the Ramayana with its message of sacrifice. Let us go on a spiritual pilgrimage to the four temples of the Ramayana circuit, hearkening to this message.

It is a journey to seek the blessings of Sri Rama, born in the month Aries while Karkkidakom was ascendant, and his siblings. When Dwaraka sank into the sea, the idols that were worshipped by Lord Krishna were carried away by the current. Vakkayil Kaimal, a local feudal lord, had a dream that idols of four-armed Vishnu were floating in the sea. Next day, apparently, Kaimal was handed over the idols by fishermen.

Legend has it that Kaimal, on realizing the importance of these idols, consulted with astrologers and installed them at four temples - the Nalambalam - a Rama temple on the banks of Kuleepani Theertham, a Lakshmana temple on the banks of the Poorna river, a Bharata temple and a Shatrughna temple. A visit to these four temples on one day during Karkkidakom is said to bring you prosperity and blessings.

It is ideal to set aside a day for the Nalambalam journey. Start early, because you have to factor in the puja times at each temple and about 4 hours in the afternoon when the temples will be closed after the noon puja. There are plenty of small hotels and eateries along the way.