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Uchapooja (Mid-day worship)

This is one among the temple poojas.  It is done on the mid-day.  After performing the pooja, the shrine gates will close to be re-opened at evening.

Udakakriya (Funeral rites/Obsequies)

A ritual carried out by the near relatives of a dead person for the sake of the departed soul.  The relatives, after taking bath, will come near the ‘peetam’ in wet dress and perform bali.


Udayam is a combination of matriarchal and patriarchal system of inheritance.  It is believed that this system was prevalent during the period of Aromal Chekavar.

Upavasam (Fasting)

Upavasam is a vratha (penance) performed by fasting.  There are different forms of upavasam.  Fasting without food and water throughout the day is called Sudhopavasam. Taking food only once is known as Orikkal.


Uranma is one of the powers of the Deshavazhis (local ruler).  This pertains to the management of temple land and men.  Namboodiris were the rulers of most of temples.  Uralasabha was also constituted for the running of temple administration.

Uzham Porukkuka

Uzham Porukkuka is a marriage custom prevalent in North Malabar. It is also known as Vidaram Kayaruk’.  It is a low cost marriage.  No dress will be given to the bride.  Feast will be arranged only to the relatives.  The bridegroom has to go to the bride’s residence.  He has no right to take the bride to his home.  For this he has to wait till Pudamuri (real marriage). Some times, Pudamuri will be taken place after several years when their children attain the age of ten or twelve years.

Uruli Kamazthal (Placing of uruli vessel upside down)

A function performed by the married couple at Mannarsala to have good children.  They used to pray before the Valiyamma (grand mother) of the Illam and after obtaining permission come to the temple and place a Uruli (a brass vessel) on the main entrance of the shrine. Subsequently, the Valiyamma place the Uruli upside down in the Nilavara (Cellar).  It is believed that the ladies will become pregnant within 41 days of the function.  After the birth of the child, the parents go to the temple with their child and perform special poojas and the Uruli that kept upside down in the Nilavara will be placed straight position.  Only this will complete the offering.


The practice of presenting banana bunches to Lord Krishna at the Guruvayur Temple on the Thiruvonam day of Chingam (August-September) is the Uthradakazhcha.  The Melsanthi (Main Priest) has the right to place the first bunch in a plantain leaf applied with rice powder paste.  After that the devotees can also submit their offerings.


Uthraseeveli is a festival of Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple conducted on the Uthram asterism day of Meenam (March-April). The Bhagavathies from the near temples will proceed to the Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple on the eighth day of the festival falling on Uthram day.  It is believed that these Bhagavathies are the sisters of Sreevallabhan. Their entries to the Sreevallabha Temple is through the north gate which is opened only once in a year to permit their entry.  The gate will be closed immediately after their retreat.  It is believed that all the sins will disappear on seeing and praying Uthraseeveli. It is also believed that the thirty-three crores of Devas (Gods) will array in the sky to witness the festival.

Utsavam (Temple Festival)

The annual festival of a temple is known as Utsavam.  Utsavam begins with Kodiyettam (flag hoisting) and ends with Arat.  Several programmes will be arranged on the intervening days.  Utsavabali, Sreebali,and Ezhunnallathu. will be performed on all days.  Chendamelam, Thayambaka, Panchavadyam and Nadaswaramelam will accompany the procession.  Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Koothu, Thullal, Theyyam, Thira, Kurathyattam etc. are some among the special programmes arranged during festival days.  A grand festival viz., Valiyavilakku is also conducted on the day before Arat. There are three types of temple festivals.  They are (1) Padahadi, (2) Dwajadi, and (3) Ankuradi. Padahadi festival is without Kodiyettam. Here importance is given to Melam (i.e., playing of various musical instruments). Dwajadi also focus on melam but will have kodiyettam and the most important is the last one viz., Ankuradi.


A magical ritual carried out to evade evil spirits and to recover from illness.  There are different forms of uzhichils known as Ariyuzhichil, Thiriuzhichil, Panthamuzhichil and so on.
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