Myths and history coexist with everyday life in Kerala. And the annual pilgrimage to the hills of Rayiranellur near Pattambi has its roots in Naranathu Branthan, or the madman of Naranam, from the legend of the 'Clan of Twelve' (Parayipetta Panthirukulam)
According to the myth, Naranathu Branthan rolled up heavy boulders, pushed them down and clapped with joy as he watched them vanish down the hill. One day, it is said that the mother Goddess appeared before him and blessed him. To this day, on the first of the Malayalam month of Thulam (October), thousands gather and walk up the hills to pray obeisance to the Mother Goddess and bow before the statue dedicated to Narathanathu Branthan.
Naranathu Branthan was born the son of Vararuchi, one of the nine gems of the court of Vikramaditya. As the legend goes, he was brought up in the Naranathu Mangalathu Mana, situated near Chethallur in Palakkad. He came to Rayiranellur, which became his abode.
We went on a quest to trace the roots of the 'Parayipetta Panthirukulam'. Click here to read more about it.
Where? Rayiranellur is on the Valancheri - Pattambi road.
What do they do? Walk up the hills, pray at the Durga temple. Bow before the Naranathu Branthan statue. Take in the breath-taking view from the top of the hill. It takes about 2 hours to trek to the top of the hill.
Nearest Railway station is Kuttipuram. There are a lot of buses that ply this route.