The cash-strapped Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, looking to diversify its portfolio to cater to changing traveller needs and ensure its survival, has introduced a budget-friendly pilgrim tour package to woo common tourists and passengers.
The new package, focussing on the epic Mahabharata, was announced by the state-run transport corporation’s budget tourism cell, and offers pilgrims and travel buffs a cost-effective chance to visit the famous Pancha Pandava Temples in the state. The package also includes the opportunity to take part in the ‘Valla Sadhya’, the ritualistic feast at the Parthasarathy Temple in Aranmula.
The pilgrim tour will be organised in collaboration with devaswoms (temple managements) and Palliyoda Seva Samithis, which manage the boats and rituals in connection with the Vallasadya. The tagline for the package is ‘A Pilgrimage through the History of Mahabharatha’.
The corporation management announced the package on Wednesday and invited persons interested to pre-book their travel from respective depots.
Lore says the Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple, Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, and the Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple were the five Kerala temples built by the five Pandava brothers — Yudhishtira, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva.
All five temples are located in Changanassery and Chengannur taluks of the former central Travancore on the banks of the holy river Pamba. The corporation said the five sites are also called the five Vaishnava Temples.
During the tour, the passengers will participate in Valla Sadhya, the ritualistic offering to Lord Parthasarathy of the Aranmula temple where oarsmen of the snake boats are offered a feast between August 4 and October 9.
They will also get the opportunity to directly witness the making of the historic Aranmula Kannadi, a mirror unique to the region and made by skilled craftsmen.
Another attraction is the availability of an audio guide, including a detailed history of the temples, offerings, and rituals and offerings, sources in the corporation said.
The budget packages aim to provide affordable tours to common people and generate a handsome revenue, the sources said. The corporation has been organising several similar budget-friendly tours over the last few months.
With inputs from PTI