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A MEMORABLE TRIP (Page 4) By Krishna Varier
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Casually a Tamil worker suggested to have a try at the next village called Panangyatri, where one Isawan brings goodwill and prosperity to the villagers. It was a valuable hint. Immediately I went there. In the middle of the village an impressive effigy of about Eighteen feet high, is placed on a raised platform. It was a wooden frame stuffed and dressed with straw. Its face made out of clay had artistic finish.

Head personality of that village confirmed to me thy is Iravan. And also learned that Iravan to Isavan and the name of the village Panangathiri to Panangatri both were unnoticed transformations. This historic Character, Iravan is a legend from the epic Bharata. Born to the warrior king Arjuna in a Naga Queen Ouloopy. While in exile Arjuna happen to be in Gangadwar. Ouloopy falls in love with Arjuna . Somehow she could convince him and persuade Arjuna to marry her. Thus born this mighty Iravan. He became a great warrior with magical powers and he uses all those against Kauravas at war front before he gets killed.

This part of the story from Bharata is enacted at Panangatri. Ancestors believed to be from Naga-race came to this place centuries back. The could keep all their cultural practices alive till date. Once the paddy crop is over, a brand new Iravan’s customary effigy is made Bharata’s old copy which is with them is taken out and read on a daily basis for the villagers to listen and to the effigy as well. On the auspicious day when the story is completed this image is duly cremated in the place arranged for. Irrespective of caste barriers each citizen of the village has his role to play in this memorable festival. Social value of the event thus highlighted. A cultural event to revive communal harmony.

Next day as usual I met Mr. Tharoor for lunch at a new place – Aasthanam. Opening out of the Akathalam is one of the loveliest area in the building, a pillared sit-out with lowered windows crested by colored glass. On occasions afternoon tea was served here in olden days. Its extension has wooden sills afforded a place to read or simply to gaze outside.

You get a birds eye view of the property from Aastanam. Open to the lawn its front portion gives a clear picture covering all medical plants, shrubs and trees in the garden; Ayurvedic center; Yoga hall ; all three pool and finally the newly built Kalari block.

Kalaripayattu was the martial tradition of Kerala, which died out in 1793 due to its ban by the British colonials. This Kalari also fell to disuse at the close of 18th century at which period its mud walled and thatched structure was demolished. Thus born the three tiered Kalarikovilakam Palace in its place in 1980’s.

I stepped into the Ayurvedic center in the evening when they almost finished their routine work. A well experienced Physician took me around, introduced to the other massagers both men and women. This square shaped single storied new building has got ten treatment rooms. All attached with bath and having massage table - Yennathoni. It has a separate wing for ladies treatment. No hurry burry, no commercial outlook as regards treatment procedures are concerned. It comes under Green-leaf category. Here patients have got the patience to enjoy treatment and no one is sacrificing oneself for any strict procedures or so. Therapists convert treatment to merely a treat, which exactly the guest needs. All these are feed-back I got from other inmates of the resort.

Continued on the next page...

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