Ochira (Kerala), Jun 19: A large number of people took part in Kerala's Ochira Kali festival, a mock fight to commemorate a battle between two rulers.
The festival is organized annually during the monsoon season.
People dressed in colourful attire, take part in the festival. The participants fight each other in a mock battle standing in knee-deep water, brandishing mock swords and shields while splashing water and mud.
The fight is the final part of the annual festival of Ochira temple. Thousands of devotees, including residents and tourists, witnessed the festival.
"My father was an expert in this battle. Now I am leading one team, I came here when I was just five years old. We also have a two and half year boy in our team. Our team consists of 40 members. This festival is observed to re-enact the battles fought between the rulers of Kayamkulam and Ambalappuzha," said Krishnan, leader of a team.
"This festival has been there since ages. Sometimes I come here to watch the mock fights and on other occasions after the fight to pray here," observed Savitri, a devotee.
This unique place of worship has neither a structure to house an idol nor an idol to worship. The presiding deity here is the abstract principle of the Parabrahmam or the Universal consciousness.
The Oachirakkali, the annual festival at the Parabrahma temple, has a historical background and highlights the martial skills of the participants.
The erstwhile rulers of Kayamkulam and Ambalappuzha are said to have fought a battle at this place, and the festival is conducted to commemorate the historical event.
On the first two days martial displays are presented, turning the padanilam (battle field) into an arena of action-packed artistry. On the following three days there is a cattle and agricultural fair, now a declining rural spectacle, being revived by tradition. By Ashik K