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Karkidakam Masam in Hinduism: The Last month in the Malayalam Calendar is full of Monsoon Fury and Prayers

To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month

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Karkidakam Masam. Image source: www.youtube.com
  • No initiative is put to implementation and celebrations such as weddings are avoided during this month
  • To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month
  • Ramayanam of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is recited from the very first day of Karkidakam 

Marked by a period of incessant rains, the solar month of Karkidakam also known as Ramayana Masam is filled with myths and legends and is observed from June- September, this year in 2016. Karkidakam, also known as the monsoon season, is the inauspicious nature of the last month of the Malayalam calendar (Karkidakam of Kolla varsham 1191) has created many beliefs among the people. No initiative is put to implementation and celebrations such as weddings are avoided during this month. Adding to the fear of famines and diseases, the myth that Madura was burnt down in the month of Karkidakam, creates an image of a dark period in the minds of the believers.

To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month. Various traditions are followed in this month.  It is believed that recital of the Ramayana will bring prosperity during this month of scarcity and rid the houses of all evil. It is believed that sage Valmiki completed the epic Ramayana during this month. Thus people, especially the elderly start reciting the Ramayanam of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan from the very first day of Karkidakam with an aim to complete the recital by the month end. Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan was a was a Malayalam devotional poet as well as a linguist who translated Mahabharata and Ramayana. As it is always not possible to do so, some just read a part of it, mostly ‘Sundarakandam,’ which is the fifth book. Sales of these religious texts reach its peak just before the start of the month. Many philosophical books and religious texts are made available in the shops.

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Image Source : hindu-blog.com

This period also marks the beginning of  Dakshin-aayana or southern solistice. Dakashin-aayana is referred to as pithru-aayana  that is the period of migratory path of ancestral spirits and souls. Hindus pay homage to their ancestors and rituals dedicated to the dead are performed on the Amavasi or the no-moon day on the banks of the river.

The month of Karkidakam is most suitable for the Ayurvedic treatment as the monsoon rains are at its peak. The human body. Due to the moist climate, all the pores in the human body will be open and the body will be more recipient to all Ayurvedic medicines and treatments.

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A ceremony called Vedan-Paadal is conducted during this month. A boy is dressed up as the Vedan -hunter and is armed with bow and arrows and a distinct make-up. Accompanied by an attendant who carries a small drum, the boy goes to the nearby houses. He is greeted with a ceremonial welcome in each household and when the drummer chants a folk song, he enacts the role of a hunter who is trying to make a living by means of agriculture. He depicts the hardships he faces and the choices he has to make in the forest. The performance ends with the story of the pursuit of a wild boar and his triumphant encounter with Arjuna, revealing to the viewers that he is, in fact, Lord Shiva, mentioned The Hindu Website.

Of the many other customs, the Oottu or feast which lasts throughout  the lean month of Karkidakam conducted by the temple administration is the noblest one.

Cooking Karkidaka kanji, a spicy mix of rice and medicinal herbs is a part of the age-old tradition. Though very few families still make them at home, a ready mix of ‘Karkidaka kanji’ is available in the market so that everyone can continue on with the tradition.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of Newsgram

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Hotel Chains in Rajasthan Contribute in Growing Local Economy

Big hotel chains help boost local economy in Rajasthan

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Hotels Rajasthan
Hotel chains in Rajasthan play a major role in boosting the local economy. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA

Big hotel chains in Rajasthan are helping the local economy grow by providing newer employment avenues to the natives.

These hotels are hiring local people to showcase the colourful heritage of Rajasthan to guests coming from different parts of the world.

Ibis, an Accor brand, recently re-launched its property in Civil Lines, Jaipur, in which locals were engaged in the task to design a vibrant and colourful lobby with traditional Pichwai artwork connecting to the ethic charm of the Pink city.

The property also showcases a quirky auto and bike parked outside the lobby which comes in different shades of pink connecting with the theme of the pink City. Again, in this perspective, the local students’ views were taken into account to make the pretty decor of the auto and bike, said Saumitra Chaturvedi, General Manager, Ibis Jaipur Civil Lines.

Further, the hotel had hired a local band, Marudhar, during the relaunch of the property, which has got six local members who shot to fame after displaying their talent in ‘India’s Got Talent’.

Chaturvedi said, “It gives me immense pleasure to showcase the revamped Ibis property in Jaipur which has been designed after seeking services of local artists. We look forward to serving the best blend of local and global in terms of food, delicacies and experiences, he added.

Rajasthan locals
Big hotel chains in Rajasthan hire the local people to showcase the rich culture of that region. Pixabay

The other property pushing local economy to new heights is Alila Fort Bishangarh where locals are engaged in diverse tasks including garden landscaping, housekeeping, driving and even the kitchen for dishes, said Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Alila Fort Bishangarh’s heritage hotel, some 50 km from Jaipur.

As our property is situated on the outskirts, the surrounding villages had people engaged in farming and hence we are training them in diverse tasks to ensure they have a decent source of earning. Now, the villages look changed as there are many shops and businesses coming around, he adds.

These guests are also taken around for a barber shop where they love to get a hair massage done which is called as Champi in local language. Villagers are getting a decent price for it. We have a chai shop where guests are taken and they pay villagers a decent sum for a tea.

Then comes as zero mile cuisine system we have introduced recently where food produced within the vicinity of one mile is being served to guests. This again boosts local economy, Sebastian says.

This Diwali, we gifted paper bag made from newspapers with an earthen pot having tulsi plant grown in our garden. Again local services were taken to make bags and pots, he adds.

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“Our association with locals is quite strong. Our guests also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker engaged in Alila Fort, Bishangarh. (IANS)