The cash-strapped Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, which is seeking to diversify its portfolio to meet the changing needs of travelers and ensure its survival, has introduced an economical pilgrimage package to appeal to tourists and ordinary passengers.
The new package, focused on the epic mahabharata, was announced by the budget tourism cell of the public transport company, and offers pilgrims and travel enthusiasts a cost-effective chance to visit the famous Pancha Pandava temples in the state. The package also includes the opportunity to participate in the “Valla Sadhya”, the ritual feast at the Parthasarathy temple in Aranmula.
The pilgrimage tour will be organized in collaboration with devastateds (temple management) and Palliyoda Seva Samithis, who manage boats and rituals related to the Vallasadya. The slogan of the package is “A pilgrimage through the history of Mahabharata”.
The company’s management announced the package on Wednesday and invited those interested to pre-book their trip from the respective depots.
Tradition says that Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple, Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple were the five temples in Kerala built by the five Pandava brothers – Yudhishtira, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.
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The five temples are located in the Changanassery and Chengennur taluks of ancient central Travancore on the banks of the holy Pamba river. The society said the five sites are also referred to as the five Vaishnava temples.
During the tour, passengers will take part in Valla Sadhya, the ritual offering to Lord Parthasarathy of the Aranmula Temple where the rowers of the serpent boats are offered a feast between August 4th and October 9th.
They will also have the opportunity to directly witness the making of the historic Aranmula Kannadi, a unique mirror in the region and made by skilled artisans.
Another attraction is the availability of an audio guide, including a detailed history of the temples, offerings, rituals and offerings, company sources said.
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The budget packages aim to provide affordable tours for ordinary people and generate handsome revenue, the sources said. The company has held several similar budget tours over the past few months.
With PTI entries