Kalpathy Ratholsavam goes green this year

Photo: Sibu Bhuvanendran

The Kalpathy temple is situated on the banks of the river of the same name. With the river being an integral part of the region's culture and traditions, a call has been issued to protect the waterbody. It is pointed out that in the past, the river had copious amounts of water. However, now there is hardly enough to ensure a smooth current.

Several projects have been launched by the authorities to rejuvenate the river but none of them has been completed. During the severe floods of last year, the real boundaries of the river revealed themselves to the local people. The floods also demonstrated the level of encroachments carried out in the water body.

Presently, a walkway has come up along the riverbank from the New Bridge to Kundambalam Kadavu. It is suggested that extending the facility to Mukkai Bridge would benefit people who engage in morning and evening walks.

Meanwhile, authorities have given a call to protect the river. Take a dip but avoid using the river as a toilet, they say. Good public washrooms are present on the riverbank for the purpose, officials point out.

However, no mechanism is in place to keep the riverbanks clean and tidy. The condition of a park at the spot is also pathetic.

Going eco-friendly

This year, organisers of the annual temple festival and the government authorities have launched efforts to celebrate a 'green festival.' As a result, sales and use of non-biodegradable items have been banned on the temple and festival areas.

Orders were issued to sell only corn ice-creams and not the variety served in cups. Snacks have to be packed only in paper kits, avoiding plastic covers.

The ritualistic offering 'prasadam' is given away at the temple in specially-made leaf cups. Thermocol also is banned. In addition, baskets made of bamboo have been kept along the roadsides to prevent littering.

The district authorities and organisers of other festivals in Palakkad district have decided to emulate the Kalpathy model. Green Kerala Mission, Suchitwa Mission and local bodies would issue necessary guidelines in this regard.

A legend

Once in the past, a series of fires occurred at New Kalpathy. The residents consulted an astrologer to learn the cause of the infernos and it was found that the village came under the direct vision of Lord Shiva's 'third eye.' The intensity of the gaze was so severe that it sparked the fires.

A remedy was also suggested. It was to install an idol of Lord Ganapathy directly facing Shiva. The consecration of the Manthakkara Ganapathy Temple took place soon. After the Ganapathy temple came up, no fires have been reported, say the local residents.

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