Imagine a grand feast with around 45 varieties of dishes, attractively served in plantain leaf accompanied with the background score of 'Vanchipattu' (song sung during boat race). This will be not a dream when you visit Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple from July to October every year. The Aranmula Valla Sadhya here is one of the richest tradition ever organized in 'God's Own Country', Kerala every year. Rich tradition and culture always revolve around the celebrations in Kerala. The 'Aranmula Valla Sadhya' is also one such tradition, which has a very interesting background of beliefs.
The Valla Sadhya is actually an offering to Lord Parthasarathy and is dedicated to any snake boat (Palliyodam) of any village and the selected palliyodam will come to take part in the feast on that particular day. The story behind the famous Valla Sadhya will attract anyone to this place. It is said that there was a brahmin named Mangattu Bhattathiri in a village known as Kattoor gramam located on the Kozhenchery-Ranni route. Their family followed a tradition of offering food to any brahmin boy before their lunch. These were done during the Chinga Masam that means from August to September. One day they were not able to find a Brahmin boy and desperate Mangattu Bhattathiri began to pray to Aranmulayappan and then a Brahmin boy arrived there and they offered food to him. But on the same day in his dream, the brahmin saw Aranmulayappan asking him that there is no need for him to wait for a Brahmin boy for offering food. He can directly offer it to the temple, that means to God.
The brahmin then realized the truth that the Brahmin boy who came to their home was none other than Aranmulayappan. Now commemorating this, the Valla Sadhya is organized here. Today people from every nook and corner arrives at Aranmula to be a part of this grand feast. The Valla Sadhya organized on the Ashtami Rohini (birth of Lord Krishna) is considered to be more divine. Around 48 palliyodams take part in this event and around 1.5 to 2 lakh people participate in the feast. The specially prepared curd is brought from Chennappady in Kottayam district. On the Valla Sadhya day, you can find the oarsmen coming to the temple in the boat through the river. The 'Nirapara' (rice) is offered by the oarsmen to the presiding deity and they will encircle the temple chanting Krishna bhajans. The rhythmic Vanchipaattu will transform the whole atmosphere into the divine. Soon after the 'Utchapooja' (a ritual in the noon), the Valla Sadhya will start.
The Valla Sadhya items are Adaprathaman, Aravanapayasam, Aval, Avial, Banana chips, Chammanthi powder, Chukku vellum, Curd, Ellunda, Fried banana, Ghee, Ginger curry, Holy water from river Pampa, Kaalhen, Kaalipazhampayasam, Kalkandum, KadalaPrathaman, Kichadi, Mango curry, Munthiripachadi, Olen, Pacchadi, Paalpayasm, Pachamoru, Pulisserry, Ressam, Red CheeraThoran, Sambar; ThakaraThoran and Unniappam. The Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, which lies in the Pathanamthitta district, is just 35 minutes drive from Mavelikkara. No one will miss the chance to be a part of 'Valla Sadhya'. Pre-bookings should be done. You can book the sadhya through the official website of "Palliyoda Seva Sangam", (www.aranmulavallamkali.in). On the day of the Sadhya, you should reach the premises at 11 am with your family. Here you will be getting a rare chance to enjoy the feast along with experiencing the divinity.