The Onam Sadhya is a feast fit for a King, and also for monkeys.
A troop of monkeys partook of the traditional Onam Sadhya at the Sasthamkotta temple of Kollam district on Wednesday.
Prepared by temple authorities, the Sadhya for these animals has been in practice for the last 49 years.
No effort was spared for the monkeys, with the Sadhya being served on the plantain leaf. All dishes from pickles to payasam were served at the temple premises for thr troop.
And no different to men and women in Kerala, the feast saw monkey mothers feeding their babies after the Sadhya was served.
Aravindakshan Nair, president of the temple committee, said that the temple provides food for the monkeys everyday and on Onam day special dishes are provided. He pointed out that a special bhojanasala (dining room) was also set up to feed them in the temple.
“There is a legend behind this practice. It is believed that the ancestors of these monkeys had stayed back in this temple as requested by Lord Rama, while he was returning from Lanka. So we consider these animals divine,” he explained.
But once these monkeys leave the temple, they're no allowed inside.
“These monkeys who have gone out of this divine environment are turned in to 'chanda kurangu' (market monkeys), causing trouble for villagers," he said.
Nair also said that 50th year of feeding monkeys would be a grand festival.
Pic : Indiavideo.org