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- The Doors Of This Temple In Kerala Are Never Closed To The Hungry, More Than 2000 People Eat Food Every Morning And Evening
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If a person comes to the Vaikom Mahadev temple and says that I am hungry, then the temple gates are closed only after feeding him.
- Before closing the doors of the ancient Shiva temple, the sevadars ask- there is no starvation
- The process of feeding the hungry in the temple lasts till the late evening for the people
(Kay Shaji) The Vaikom Mahadev Temple in Kottayam district of Kerala is one of the oldest temples in South India. The tradition of its centuries old Annadan in this temple is still going on. Here devotees provide food to the hungry every day. Food is prepared for more than 2000 people every morning and evening in the kitchen of the temple. The process of providing food to people goes on till late in the evening.
Before closing the main gate of the temple, holding the torch in hand, the temple servants stand on all four gates and make a sound – is there anyone who is hungry for dinner. If a person says yes I am hungry, then the temple gates are closed only after feeding them. Suresh Potti, the priest of the temple, says that this is a temple where people are served both morning and evening meals.
The needy was also served food in this lockdown.
Till date, this tradition has never been broken in the temple. Even in this lockdown, food was served to the needy. Here Shiva is called as Vaikkathappan and Annadana Prabhu. Some other temples in Kerala are also feeding hungry people for lunch and dinner and they include the famous Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
108 families have been managing the temple for generations
The Muttas Nampoothiri family is cooking food from generation to generation. They traditionally take a morning bath. Then worship Shiva with the burning coal taken from the traditional fire pit. It is only after this ritual that their kitchen work begins. A large variety of dishes are made in large kitchens.
It cooks 3600 kg of rice daily to feed people during festivals. The right to cut vegetables rests with 16 Nair families identified as Pathinaranmar. 108 families have been managing this temple system from generation to generation.