One of the major festivals of this temple is Oachira Vrischikam Festival that is celebrated during the month of December or January. Oachirakkali is a famous ritual that is performed during the month of June. It involves mock-fighting in muddy water that is performed by traditional martial art experts. The play is performed where the battle between the two feudal kings, Kayamkulam and Ambalapuzha are enacted. Two groups participate and fight with swords in the right hand and shields on the left. The players enacting the battle are dressed as warriors.
"Erupathattam Onam" (28 days after Onam) is also celebrated that is the festival of cattle. Huge eduppu kala or Bull shaped structures are made and they are then pulled on giant wheels to the temple from the site where they are made. Around 50 such structures are made.
The festival of Panthrandu Vilakku is held in the months November and December. A fair is conducted in the premises of the temple, which continues for twelve days. The region is also well known for the handicrafts exhibition or Dakshina Kasi that is held in the premises of the temple.
There are several myths regarding the place called Oachira. Some believe that the place name came from the word Omkarachira and some others believe that the name is originated from the name Oymanchira. Soma also believed that the name was derived from Uvachanchira as Uvachan means Lord Shiva.
A survey was conducted in Travancore during the beginning of the 19th century. In the report, it was mentioned that there was a large reservoir at the centre of the large ground called Padanilam. This was used by the soldiers in olden days for bathing and for supplying water to the horses that were used in the war exercises. Perhaps this chira was known in olden days as Onattuchira, as the place belonged to the Kayamkulam Raja who was also called the Odanattu Raja. Therefore, it is believed that the word Onattuchira was gradually accepted as the place name and as time passed by Oachira became the corrupted form of Onattuchira.
|More Articles in Temples of Kerala (79)|