Muslim families tend lotus flowers for Kerala temples

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Thirunavaya (Kerala), Sep.27 (ANI): A group of about 30 Muslim families in Kerala's Thirunavaya Village meticulously tend lotus flowers in a pond and supply to various Hindu temples in the region.

For generations, these families have been meticulously tending lotus flowers in their village pond and later supply to temples.

The act promotes communal amity and inspires others to believe in the spirit of brotherhood.

Following the age-old tradition, lotus flowers are offered to the presiding deity at the Sri Krishna emple at Guruvayur.

The lotus flowers grown and picked by these Muslim families are also supplied to Guruvayur, the famed pilgrimage centre, apart from other temples.

Most of these flowers at this temple come from of Mohammad Mustafa's farm in Thirunavaya. His family has been tending lotus flowers for generations. But Mustafa being a Muslim has never affected his business of supplying flowers to Hindu temples.

"There is no restriction on us in providing lotus flowers to temples. We supply flowers to temples like Thripunitara Temple, Guruvayur, Kadampurzha and various other important temples in Kerala. The temple managing committees have no problems so far and there is no restriction from our community as well. Everyone appreciates us for this work," said Mohammad Mustafa, lotus flower grower in Thirunavaya.

Mustafa tends lotus flowers in the pond spread over 25 acres of 'aqua farms'. He plucks over 400 flowers on daily basis for Guruvayur temple alone.

These Muslim flower cultivators believe it is only because of the blessings of Lord Guruvayurppan (or, Lord Krishna) that their business is flourishing day-by-day.

"We all believe that by supplying flowers to temples, our lotus farming is flourishing and our income is increasing. The earnings by selling flowers help all of us to make a decent living," said ustafaLike Mustafa, there are other farmers who are engaged in lotus farming.

The blooming business of lotus flowers here has made many traditional paddy farmers in the State to opt tend lotus in the village ponds.

Thirunavaya is also famous for the Mamankam festival held in the Thirunavaya temple on the banks of the River Bharathapuzha also known as River Nila. This village was once the capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam.

Famous poet Melputhoor Narayana Bhattapathar was born at Melputhoor Illam, located 3.5 kilometres off Thirunavaya, on the northern banks of Nila River (Bharathapuzha River). By Juhan Samuel(ANI)

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