Sivalaya Ottam, the run from one Siva temple to the other, kick starts in Tamil Nadu

Thousands of devotees from Kerala and Tamil Nadu have started the annual Sivalaya Ottam, from Thirumalai Shiva Temple at Munchirai, the first Sivalaya temple of the total 12 temples. The devotees will run from one Siva temple to the other on the day of Mahasivarathri.

There are 12 prominent Lord Shiva temples in different parts of Kanyakumari district including Vilavancode and Kalkulam taluks, within a radius of 110 km. The objective of the pilgrimage is to uphold that Siva and Vishnu are both the manifestations of one supreme being. The devotees usually observe a one-week fast, with some having only liquid food during the time.

The devotees will run through Thikkurichi, Thirparappu, Thirunanthikkarai, Ponmanai, Panthippakam, Kalkulam, Melancode, Thiruvadaicode, Thiruvithancode, Thirupanthiyode and Thriunattalam to cover the 125 km within 24 hours.

The Sivalaya Ottam will come to an end at the Sankaranarayanar Temple at Thirunattalam. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation is operating special buses to these Siva temples from various destinations. Pilgrims can either run with the group or can accompany them by bus or car.