Nedumbassery: Tens of thousands of devotees, including people from far away places, converged on the Sivarathri Manalpuram near here on the banks of the Periyar river in Aluva to propitiate their ancestors by performing the �Vavu Bali during the Karkidaka Vavu day on Monday.
The rituals got off to a start as early as 3 a.m on the day with the performance of a Ganapathi homam in the Siva temple here, also followed by a couple of other special pujas including Mruthyunjayanam, Thilahavanam, Dhara and Namaskaram. Initiated by priests Subramanian Namboodiri and Neelakandan Namboodiri, the ceremonies in the temple continued up to 11 a.m and the offerings were distributed subsequently.
Assisted by around 200 priests, around 1,000 devotees performed the rite of �Bali Tharpanam at a given point of time and took a holy dip in the river. A total of 150 balitharas were set up for the ceremonies.
According to the authorities, the event witnessed an unprecedented rush with 75,000 people carrying out the rite by noon and it was expected to set a record in the total number of persons arriving here as the offerings would continue till 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
The observance of Vavu Bali is considered as an important ritual in propitiating ones ancestors, thus ensuring the welfare to their living descendants. The myth behind the ritual is traced to the Ramayana in which Lord Rama performs the last rites of his friend Jadayu.