The Durga temple on top of Rayiranellur hill near Pattambi on Saturday was abuzz with thousands who came from as far as western Tamil Nadu. The ritual was to climb the 500-metre hill and worship at the temple.
They would then proceed to the giant statue of Naranath Bhranthan nearby and offer prayers to the legendary mystic who lived a life free of rituals and signifying the inconsistency of life.
Legend has it that Goddess Durga appeared before Naranath Bhranthan on the first day of the Malayalam month of Thulam , and gave him answers on existence and its cause. Prompted by this myth, people gather on the day every year to climb the hill. They feel the practice would help them in their future life. The day fell on Saturday this year.
“There was a huge rush right from the morning of people even from western Tamil Nadu who took part in the climb known as Rayiranellur Malakayattam,” said Prasad Shornur, an environmentalist who formed part of the pilgrims.
Police and district administration made elaborate arrangements to ensure security of the pilgrims and to provide them basic facilities like safe drinking water.
Those who led the rituals at the temple recalled the myth of Panthirukulam or the 12-member clan that forms an integral part of Kerala’s mystic culture. According to it, Naranath Bhranthan is part of the Panthirukulam, a genetic order that exposes the vainness of the complicated caste system in Kerala.
It is believed to have taken place in the fourth century A.D during the transition period from Buddhism to Hinduism. It is said that Naranath Bhranthan used to roll up a boulder to the peak of the Rayiranallur hill ev
ery morning. By noon, he would reach the top of the hill from where he would let the boulder roll down the hill. This was done to show the fate of people who hoarded wealth.