Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | The News Minute | November 19, 2014 | 12:03 pm IST A circular sanctum sanctorum exists in a platform by the road in the village of Kuttikkakam, Edakkad, Kannur. Though the structure of the platform doesn’t resemble a temple and there is no idol in the shrine, for the residents of the village it is the spiritual kingdom of Urumbachan or Father Ant. Urumbachan Gurusthanam is a small round platform where the villagers worship ants as god. People in this area would not hurt ants in any way as they have been worshipping them for centuries. They also believe that offering coconuts to Urumbachan can free their homes from ant menace without using any insecticide. This Gurusthanam is associated with Udayamangalam Ganapathy temple which is now located half a kilometre away from the Urumbachan. Like any other temples Urumbachan temple too have a local legend connected to it. “The original plan was to build the Ganapathy temple in the place where Gurustanam stands now and one carpenter fixed a stick there as the first step to build the temple,” says Salgunan, Udayamangalam Ganapathy temple committee member “Next morning the stick had disappeared and was found in the area where the Ganapathy temple is located now. Meanwhile, an anthill appeared on the spot where the stick was fixed. The people considered this as a sigh of god and they believed that the stick was carried by ants to the new place,” he said. Every evening a lamp will be lit at the Gurusthanam by the residents. However rituals will be performed only on special days and coconut offerings are held along with some special pujas on the ‘Karthika’ day of the Malayalam month of ‘Vrischikam’ Prakashan, another temple committee member, said that on Karthika day thousands of lamps will appear in the area. “Urumbachan will be pleased by the rituals on that particular day, there will be hundreds of ants in the shrine during the month of Vrishchikam. Karthika festival at Gurusthanam is a big event for the villagers here,” he added Elderly people at the village explain a lot about the strength of Father Ant. “ Urumbachan here has many powers, even people from far off places offer coconuts to Urumbachan to get rid of ant menace” says 75 year old Gopalan, a local resident Till few years ago the platform at Gurustanam was of teak wood later it was renovated using cement which according to locals took away the rustic charm of the place. “Ants are the representation of hard work and simplicity, this can be the ideology behind the worship,” says Raghavan, a Edakkad Panchayath member. 
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