Sivalaya Ottam (Tamil Language:சிவாலய ஓட்டம்) is a ritual marathon undertook by the devotees to the 12 Siva shrines in the district of Kanyakumari on the day of Sivarathri. From this year onwards the day was announced as a local holiday for the district.
The Ottam begins at Munchirai, the first Sivalayam and goes all through the next 10 temples before ending at Thirunattalam.
|1.||Munchirai||Kunnathoor, Kappucaud, Vettuvanni, Marthandam, Gnaramvilai||Thikkurichi||11.80|
|2.||Thikkurichi||Chitharal, Ambalakkadai, Arumanai, Kaliyal||Thirpparappu||12.40|
|5.||Ponmanai||Chithirancode, Kumarapuram, Muttacaud||Pannippagam||10.40|
|6.||Pannippagam||Saral vilai, Marunthukkottai, Padmanabhapuram||Kalkulam||5.73|
|8.||Melancode||Kumaracoil Bus stop, Villukuri||Thiruvidaicode||4.66|
|9.||Thiruvidaicode||Villukuri, Thuckalay, Keralapuram||Thiruvithancode||8.60|
|10.||Thiruvithancode||Nadukkadai, Kodiyoor, Perambi, Palliyadi||Thirupanthicode||9.21|
Special pujas will be conducted at temple at Thirumalai. The ritual begin after the devotees taking a holy-dip in the Thamirabharani river at Munchirai, the first Sivalayam. The participants wear saffron robes, hold a palm-leaf fan on their hand and chant the mantra "Govinda... Gopaala..." all through the whole day of running. The pilgrims receive the holy ashes, "Thiruneer" from all the eleven temples. The purpose for the pilgimage is believed to be fulfilled only by receiving the Sandal-paste from the final Sankaranarayanar Temple at Thirunattalam. The objective of the pilgrimage is to uphold that Siva and Vishnu are both the manifestations of one supreme being.
- "‘Sivalaya Ottam’ on". The Hindu. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
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