Para Vaikal - Unique Ritual Of Thrissur


Each religious group has its own customs, ceremonies and ways to celebrate. If we state the differences of such rituals in different parts of a particular state, they also own vast difference. Same festival is celebrated in different ways by different people at different parts of the world. Hinduism is such a religion where there is no scarcity of rituals or celebrations and each region has its own ways to celebrate as per their tradition. Through this article I would like to briefly explain ‘Para Vaikkal’ – an offering to temples of Thrissur, particularly in goddess temples. Para vaikkal also has different colours – Para at home, Elephant para as well as para (offerings) displayed at temples during festival season. Para vaikkal is a significant ritual offered in middle Kerala temples.


Para Vaikal is nothing but offerings given to the deity in a rice measuring device known as ‘Para’ in Malayalam. During old days of prosperity when Kerala was filled with paddy fields, Para was used as the instrument to measure rice. Offerings of any one type – flower, vegetables, fruits or coins will be filled completely in ‘para’. Overfilled para signifies the prosperity, wealth and filled minds of devotees. You can choose any type of offerings as you please, but should fill para with only one type of offering.


Total number of paras is also significant. It should definitely be an odd number and its number varies from 1 to hundreds or more as the devotee feels and he is capable of. During festival seasons, it’s a common practice to place para in front of the main deity and when devotees place such paras of different types, it is a colourful display too. People may place different types of flowers like jasmine, rose etc or grains like rice, wheat etc. They may also place fruits like apple, orange, grapes etc. Para should be filled completely, that’s most important.


People place such paras at homes too. ‘Velichapadu’ of temples visit such homes and bless the people. He will be accompanied by Kurichiyar – folk people and Chendamelam – traditional musical instruments. If elephants also accompany the group, it’s known as elephant para or ‘aana para’ in Malayalam and it’s seen as a symbol of prosperity.

Article Posted By : Sandhya RanilView All Articles

I have placed para once

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Keywords :
paravaikkal , para Thrissur , Aana para


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