Kerala’s cash-strapped state-run transport corporation, which is looking for diversified means for its survival, has now come out with a budget-friendly pilgrim tour package focussing on the epic Mahabharatha to woo common passengers and tourists.
The new package, announced by the budget tourism cell of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), offers travel buffs and pilgrims a cost-effective opportunity to visit the famed Pancha Pandava Temples in the southern state and also to take part in the famous ‘Valla Sadhya’, the ritualistic feast being served at the Parthasarathy Temple in Aranmula.
The pilgrim tour is organised in collaboration with various devaswoms (temple managements) and Palliyoda Seva Samithis, outfits which manage the boats and rituals in connection with the Vallasadya, under the tagline ”A Pilgrimage through the History of Mahabharatha.” The KSRTC management on Wednesday announced the package and invited interested persons to pre-book their travel from its respective depots.
According to lore, Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple, Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple are the five temples in the southern state, believed to have been built by five Pandava brothers- Yudhishtira, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva respectively.
All the temples are located in Chengannur and Changanassery taluks of the erstwhile central Travancore on the bank of holy river Pamba.
They are also known as five Vaishnava Temples, a statement issued by the KSRTC management here said.
During the tour, the passengers can also take part in Vallasadya, the ritualistic offering to Lord Parthasarathy of Aranmula temple in which the oarsmen of the snake boats are offered a sumptuous feast, from August 4 to October 9.
They will also get a chance to directly see the making of the historic Aranmula Kannadi, a unique mirror made in the region by the skilled craftsmen.
Another attraction of the package is the availability of an audio guide, comprising a detailed account of the history of the temples, rituals and offerings there, KSRTC sources added.
The objective of the budget packages was to provide affordable tours to the common people and also to generate a handsome revenue consistently, they said. The KSRTC has been organising similar budget-friendly tours for the last several months.