A festival of spirits: 101 rum bottles offered to Kollam temple deity

A festival of spirits: 101 rum bottles offered to Kollam temple deity


It is a festival of 'high spirits’ at the Malanada Poruvazhi Peruviruthi temple at Edakkad in Kollam where the epic Mahabharata character Duryodhana is the main deity.

Having Duryodhana as a temple deity is rare, but rarer is the offering made by an NRI - 101 bottles of rum. The neatly stacked bottles of Old Monk rum from the NRI, who does not wish to disclose his identity, is believed to be for the 100 Kaurava brothers.

Legend has it that when a thirsty Duryodhana once came to this land and asked for some water, he was offered toddy which left him pleased and thrilled. Since then it has been the custom to make such offers of spirit.

While it used to be toddy or arrack earlier, the ban of arrack sale in Kerala since 1996 saw offerings of Indian-made foreign liquor(IMFL). There are instances when some of the devotees living abroad come home to make offers of special liquor brands to ‘appooppan’ (grandfather as the deity is called).

It is practice here to auction the liquor bottles and other offerings like cocks and goats at the end of the festival. This year, the annual week-long festival began on March 15.

The temple had earlier been in the news for the fireworks tragedy way back in 1990, claiming the lives of 26 people.

A similar offering of liquor is practised at the Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple in Kannur.