Almost a thousand women of Nandyal district have begun preparing ‘Thalambralu’ for the ensuing Sita Rama Kalyanotsavam at Vontimitta temple in the neighbouring Kadapa district.

According to the Hindu wedding practices, ‘Thalambralu’ are the sacred rice grains mixed in turmeric that are poured by the bride and the groom on each other’s head after tying the nuptials. The same ritual is followed in the celestial wedding ‘Sita Rama Kalyanotsavam’ at Sri Kodandarama temple in Vontimita, observed as a State festival.

Under the ‘Mana Ooru Mana Gudi Mana Badhyatha’ initiative, the women gathered in groups at their respective towns of Nandyal, Allagadda and Velugodu and commenced dehusking the grains by hand. “Clad in auspicious saffron or yellow saris, the women chanted ‘Sri Rama Jaya Rama’ while de-husking the paddy grains using their hands”, says M.V. Sivakumar Reddy, the organiser of the initiative.

The local farmers were motivated to grow chemical-free paddy, which was procured for the task. “Of the 220 kg of paddy we collected for the de-husking, almost 100 kg of usable rice grains are suitable for the Kalyanotsavam,” says Mr. Reddy, who currently works as Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories in Guntur district.

The 100 kg ‘Thalambralu’ was formally presented on Saturday to the Vontimita temple authorities, who received the sacred offering accompanied by a colourful procession, in recognition of the efforts of all the stakeholders.

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