|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||KL-02& KL23|
|Nearest city||Kollam City (32 km), karunagappally town|
|Lok Sabha Constituency||Alappuzha|
|Legislative Assembly||Karunagapally (Kollam District)|
|Climate||good weather all seasons (Köppen)|
Oachira or Ochira (Ōcciṟa) is a small town located 32 km away from Kollam city in Kollam district in Kerala, India. It is one of the famous sacred places of Kerala and in India. Oachira is on the border of Kollam and Allappuzha Districts, next to the National Highway 47. It is a very ancient pilgrimage center that is centered on the ParaBrahma Temple (that is dedicated to the Para Brahman (or Param Brahman) or Ohmkaram, the Universal Consciousness), which covers thirty-six acres of land. Oachira North Muslim Masjid is another historical monument near Oachira town.
The major annual festivals are Oachira Kali or Oachirakali (held on the first and second of Midhunam, i.e., June–July) and the twelve-day Panthrandu Vilakku (twelve lamp festival), which is held in November/December. Oachira Kali is celebrated in commemoration of the battle of Kayamkulam, fought between Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore and the Raja of Kayamkulam, on the plains of Oachira. It is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors on the padanilam (battlefield). They perform a martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords and shields, and splashing water in every direction. A big cattle fair is also held as part of the festival.
Yet another festival celebrated in Oachira Temple is the "Irupathiyettam Onam" (Thiruvonum in the month of Kanni, second month of Malayalam Calendar). It is considered the Onam of cows and bulls and is celebrated on Thiruvonam. These concepts are related to Shiva Vahana.
The "Panthrandu vilakku" festival celebrated at Oachira Parabrahma Temple is considered as the most reputed festivals of this temple.In the month of Vrishchikam, or Vrishchika Masam, is the fourth month in a traditional Malayalam calendar and is a highly auspicious month.Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple opens on the day for the two-month long annual pilgrimage season. The first twelve days are celebrated as "Panthrantu vilakku".“Panthrandu vilakku” is being observed in temples with great fervour and enthusiasm to commemorate the ‘Ten Avatars of Lord Vishnu’ The Panthrandu vilakku celebrated at Oachira Parabrahma Temple is considered as the most reputed one At Ochira Para brahma temple, during "Panthrantu vilakku" pilgrims reside in hundreds of small huts for twelve days in the premises of temple following religious rituals. Thousands of people stays near a temple premises for a period of twelve days .This tradition is one of its kind in Kerala .Lakhs of people visit the temple during this period.There are various religious programs and meetings are being conducted during this period. Days are filled with speeches of Eminent scholars, religious leaders and political leaders.In the night cultural programmes of veteran artists are conducted. For pilgrims these days will be truly rejuvenating experience.
There is no sanctorum in Oachira Temple. The statues of the deities are placed below large banyan trees; the Prasadam is holy mud from the temple, which supposedly has medicinal value.
The temple has a rich tradition of religious harmony, which is open to people of all religion and faith. The main offering of the temple is 'Annadanam'-offering food to the poor. The temple administration manages a speciality hospital, nursing college and two guest houses. Recently built guest house 'Omkaram' is having all modern amnities to cater the need of pilgrims.
For the Muslim community, "Daras" at Oachira Muslim Jama-ath is well known in south Kerala. Late Vazhakkad Ustad (native of Vazhakkad, Malappuram) was one of the famous "mudaris" (headmaster in Arabic). With the contribution of king of Krishnapuram, he made a well- reputed institution in this village. Many famous religious scholars learned Islamic teachings from here. The Juma Masjid renovated in 2010, and can accommodate a capacity of more than 5000 people. Remarkable Muslim personalities like late Pathi Abdul Khader Musliyar,late Ummarkutty Musliyar, late Oachira Mytheen Kunju Musliyar were from this Masjid.
Cartoonist Shankar is another remarked personality near Oachira. The government of Kerala paid a tribute that a museum in memory of the country’s best known and most revered political cartoonist his birthplace near Oachira. Kerala Lalithakala Akademi was behind the ambitious initiative with an estimated initial cost of Rs. 3. 5 crore and spread over 15, 000 sq.ft.
How to reach
To reach Oachira,by air,the nearest airports are Trivandrum International Airport, which is 104 km away, and Cochin International Airport, which is 135 km away.By rail, Kayamkulam Jn. is just 7 km away, all major express trains having stop here and oachira Local station just 1.5 km from town. Oachira is the gateway to Matha Amruthananda Mayi Devi Asramam (HQ) at Vallikkavu, which is just 3 km away.
Hospitals and Educational Institutes
RCPM Hospital (popularly known as Dr. Kurup's Hospital) is the one and only maternity and child hospital. "Star hospital" is one of the famous hospitals having a 50-bed capacity. Parabrahma hospital and Aniyans hospitals are the other hospitals in the vicinity. RVSM Higher Secondary School, situated at Prayar is the oldest and biggest educational institution in and around Oachira. Started in 1909, this school was elevated as a higher secondary school and boasts a lower primary division too. Students gaining entry at the LKG can complete their pre-university exams (now known as +2) and attend the graduation courses of universities. Oachira Govt. Higher Secondary School is another well-known educational institution.
Oachira Uppapa - Muslim saint (?) who died and buried at Town Juma Masjid. Many pilgrims visiting his darga daily.
Places near Oachira
- Kochumury (south and north)
- Ragam JN.- Location in 1 km West of oachira JN.
- Prayar - Prayar RVSM High School is located here.
- Oachira Parabrahma Temple
- Memana - Oachira railway station located in memana. One of the biggest kettukala in the Irupethiettam Onam Festival is from Memana Kara. In the early times the natives of Oachira used to hire kettukala(A pair of oxen made of wood and covered with hay and cotton;one in white and the other in red,representing Siva and Parvathy of Hindu mythology)from remote places. Memana thekku Yuvajana Samithy, mainly a youth organisation is the front runner to construct a pair of kettukala as their own and also for Oachira. It was there after that, other karas followed the path.
- Valiyakulangara near Oachira is famous for a Devi Temple believed to be erected during the beginning of Kollavarsham.
Oachira is now under the Alappuzha Parliamentary Constituency and Karunagapally Legislative Assembly Constituency. Oachira is known as a secular and peaceful place.The Oachira Grama panchayath is under UDF rule. Mr. Ayyanikal Majeed ( Con.I) is the president.
- A M Muhammed, (Malayalam writer)
- Anil Panachooran, (Malayalam Film Lyricist)
- Gopakumar R. P. - Indian contemporary artist and contemporary art collector (Sedition art)
- K. P. Nambiathiri, Noted Indian Director of Photography
- Cartoonist Shankar, Famous political cartoonist.
- Abid moulavi MFB, Imam, Manacud Juma masjid- TVM.
- K.Surendran, ( Famous Malayalam writer and Vayalaar Award winner)
- Oachira P. R. Sankarankutty Natyacharyan
- S. Guptan Nair, (Malayalam writer, literary Critic, Scholar, Orator, Essayist, Lexicographer, Translator and Educator)
- S. Ramachandran Pillai, C.P.I (M) Politburo member.
- V.Sadasivan,Secretary, Ochira Parabrahma Temple.
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