The state government has given an administrative sanction to the revised development plan of Lokanarkavu Temple in Vadakara with the aim of improving its tourism potential. The project named as “Pilgrim Tourism Development at Lokanarkavu Temple” was previously part of Thalassery Heritage project and the estimated cost was Rs.3.6 crore. However, more amenities were later included as part of the project and a revised estimate of Rs. 4.5 crores was submitted to the state government, which was approved recently.
Kuttiady MLA KP Kunhammed Kutty Master recently questioned the progress of the project in the Legislative Assembly, to which PA Tourism Minister Mohammed Riyas responded by assuring full support for the project.
The project includes a thorough renovation of the 1,500-year-old temple, which has a special place in the “Vadakkan Pattu” (ballads of northern Kerala). According to the ballads, Thacholi Othenan, a famous warrior of the region, was a regular visitor to the temple and a devout devotee of Lokanarkavilamma (the temple deity, Goddess Durga). There are references to the temple in most stories that fall under Vadakkan Pattu, whose themes are mainly the exploits of warriors, trained in Kalaripayattu. To this day, Kalaripayattu students worship at the temple before their first public performance.
Therefore, the development of a Kalari (where students are trained in the martial art form) within the temple premises is one of the main parts of the project. In addition, the renovation of the courtyards of the temple, a rest house with 12 rooms for pilgrims, sanitary blocks and other facilities intended to increase the aesthetic appeal of the temple are part of the project. This includes new traditional stone lamps (kalvilakku), compound walls, ornamental lighting and improved electrification.
The MP said the project would boost the tourism sector in North Kerala.