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Ochira Kali Festival 2022: Date, Time, History And Significance

Ochira Monsoon, brings, with its onset, several festivities that celebrate the free spirit of the rainy season. It is time for the rain-swamped lands of Kerala, to form the right backdrop for the unbridled martial extravaganza that brings out the warrior in each spectator. Situated exactly between Kollam and Alappuzha regions, Ochira is an ancient temple town in the Kollam district,

Kerala and is spread over 36 acres of land. The place is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is referred to as Para Brahma here. Sannidhis (sanctum sanctorum) for Ayyappa, Mahalakshmi, and Ganapati can also be seen here. Service and charity are the twin purposes that this temple serves for the benefit of humanity.

The Ochira Kali Festival is a once-in-a-year affair meant for revisiting the nostalgic moments in the history of Kerala. It is usually celebrated on the first and second days of the Mithunam or Avany (June-July) months according to the Malayalam calendar once a year, during the rainy season, at the Para Brahma temple. Let us go ahead and read more about the Ochira Kali festival 2022 date, time, celebrations, history, significance, and mystery associated with the bulls.

Ochira Kali Festival 2022: Date, Time

This year, the Ochira Kali festival will be celebrated from 15 June to 16 June 2022. It is believed that during the festival it would continuously pour for seven days, starting with the first day of the festival. Mock battles are conducted on the first day, from 8:00 am to 11:00 a.m, and on the second day from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Ochira Kali Festival 2022: History And Significance

Ochira Kali Festival is celebrated at the Ochira Para Brahma temple. The Para Brahma here is not the lord Brahma, who is a part of the universal godly trinity. It is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped unconventionally. Here, the prayers and pujas are strictly relegated to the universal consciousness, the formless avatar of God. It represents the Advaita school of thought which picturizes God as a formless being that exists beyond the concept of time. The all-encompassing nature of the universe is worshipped, in the formless form, in an unconventional way.

The festival is hemmed around a spine-chilling encounter between the two regal states of Kayamkulam and Venad, which had crossed their swords against each other, in a fierce battle centuries ago. Ochira, a village in the vicinity of Kayamkulam in the Thiruvananthapuram district, hosts the fight, which is the final part of the festival conducted at the Para Brahma temple. These three days, usually record a maximum number of curious visitors, locals, and other martial enthusiasts to this place.

Ochira Kali Festival 2022: Celebrations

The field is demarcated for Padanilams, or war zones, where a warrior tribe of Kerala called Nairs from different Karas (areas) engage in mock fights modelled along with the style of the martial art of kalarippayattu. Brandishing the cane sticks and shields and clad in traditional outfits, around 3000 martial experts from 52 localities gather at the Padanilam.

Enjoying the violent splashes of mud and water, these warriors stand knee-deep inside the water, fighting their mock battles rhythmically to the beat of Chendas(Drums) in a fraternal spirit and the battling style known as Thakida kali.

The battle starts with the appearance of a kite (Krishna parunthu, (Eagle of Lord Vishnu or the Brahminy kite, which is supposed to be the vehicle of Lord Krishna) in the sky. They do not fight one to one but in groups. The movements, although slow, initially, gain momentum with the assault retreat movements gaining speed, step by step. When the kite appears again, it is time to stop for the day. The same program is repeated the following day. The temple authorities provide swords to the participants and the experts in this field to ensure a greater participation of warriors. The enthusiasm is explosive and contagious. A lumpsum prize money is offered along with a sumptuous feast, at the end of the martial encounters.

Ochira Kali Festival 2022: The Mystery Surrounding Ochira Bulls

Ochira kala (Ochira bull): We can see plenty of bulls roaming around unbridled within the temple premises as they are worshipped as a form of para Brahman. According to a local legend, once upon a time, a Brahmin scholar, and his attendant left home with the intent of achieving self-realization. The attendant was so curious that he kept on enquiring the brahmin, about what Para Brahman looks like. This angered the brahmin, who finally answered that Para brahman looked like a bull. Meditating sincerely on the bull, the attendant was successful in reaching God who also appeared in the form of a bull. This is why even today; the bulls have been allowed to roam freely and no one objects to their presence anywhere on this land.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons

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