Namboothiri Websites, Calicut, Kerala
(A Voluntary and Non-profit-oriented forum for documenting Namboothiri traditions in web)


This is a Vedopaasana which involves the recitation in several prescribed ways, the entire seven parts (Khandams) of Krishna Yajurveda Samhitha and Saakha in about thirty working days (Swaadhyaayam). There are only a couple of persons now who remember the entire Saakha, and therefore, it is now almost impossible to have an Othoottu with Saakha.

The prescribed techniques are : Chantha Vaayikkal, Japichu Kottikkal, Ghosham, Pada-Panjaathi, Saakhayil Antham and Vaakyam.

Chantha Vaayikkal involves the rhythmic and musical recitation (Swarichu Chollal with Maathra) of the Othu in discrete 50-word (Padam) Panjaathis. The leader recites once which the assistants (Sinkidi) repeat five times.

Kottikkal involves similar recitation but in sequences of only four Padams, which the assistants repeat only three times. The same done with rhythm (Thaalam) and much louder is Ghosham. If a mistake is made in the Padam or Mudra (hand gestures) or Swaram (tune), the assistants indicate it by putting their hands on the seat (Palaka), and the rest of the Othu is then recited in the Japichu Kottikkal method. Completing Ghosham without any mistake is considered a great accomplishment.

Chanting one Panjaathi musically with padam is called Pada-Panjaathi. Assistants repeat five times.

Saakha consists of Othus with Anthams or Vaakyams. In the ones with Anthams, one recites ten Anthams which Sinkidi repeats five times, where as in the ones with Vaakyams, one recites every Vaakyam of the Othu, which the Sinkidis recite in a continuous manner (Kootti Chollal) which is repeated five times.

Othoottu is performed in Thrisandhas - three periods, morning till noon is the first Sandha, noon till evening, the second, and night, the third. Each Sandha ends either with Kottikkal or with Pada-Panjaathi. The last Othu of each Sandha is decided by experts (Othanmaar)

Othoottu usually begins on a white (Velutha) Dasami (Click Here for Anadhyaaya Dinangal) before Maagham month. Holidays are specified (Anadhyaayam). On the first day, a lamp (Kodivilakku) is lighted from the sanctum and brought outside to the Vaathilmaadam, a ghee-lamp with five wicks is lighted with it, the performers prostrate to the north, make offering (Nedikkal) to lord Ganapathy, and then start the Othu. A vessel of ghee suspended from above would be energised, it is believed, through Ghosham, and would be used as Prasaadam after the Othu. The seating arrangement is shown in the sketch.



7       6



1    - Sreekovil (sanctum)
2    - Mukha-mandapam (pedastal)
3    - Ghoshappalaka
4,5 - Sinkidis
6    - Virunnu Palaka
7    - Ganapathy Palaka & lamp

There are prescribed portions of Othu to be completed in each Sandha and between Oottus. Some Oottus are more important than others. Every day at the beginning of the third Sandha, one Othu will be recited (Chantha Vaayikkal) much more elaborately. This is called Valiya Samhitha (Valliangatha). After the seven Khandams and a Ganapathy Nivedyam, all join for Kuduma for all the Othus, which is chanted forwards and backwards. Kuduma indicates the number of Padams in each Othu, and should be known beforehands. Only after Kuduma should Saakha (if included) be recited, the Upanishad portion of which should be done only before meals. The entire process may have some local / regional variations.

By the end of the Othoottu, the entire 1,09,287 Padams in the 651 Othu in 44 Parvams of the seven Khandams would have been chanted at least 55 times (Mura) and Saakha (if included), 21 times, as will be clear from the table.



Changatha (Samhitha) 1 1 + 5 6 3 5 15 21

Pada-Panjaathi 1 1 + 5 6 3 5 15 21

Kottikkal 1 1 1 4 3 12 13

TOTALS 13 42 55

Saakha 1 1 + 5 6 3 5 15 21

Thus Othoottu may be considered as an excellent and sacred Yajurveda Upaasana.

No Graamam or Desam Temple name (& maximum gap, in years)
1 Peruvanam Graamam Perumpillissery-3
2 Peruvanam Graamam Kadalaassery-3
3 Peruvanam Graamam Ollookkara-4
4 Peruvanam Graamam Njettissery-4
5 Peruvanam Graamam Cherpu-4
6 Peruvanam Graamam Narukulangara-6
7 Peruvanam Graamam Cherussery-6
8 Peruvanam Graamam Neruvilassery-6
9 Peruvanam Graamam Cheruvathery-6
10 Peruvanam Graamam Mulayath-6
11 Peruvanam Graamam Arookulangara-6
12 Peruvanam Graamam Thrailokyamangalam-6
13 Peruvanam Graamam Thuravil-6
14 Peruvanam Graamam Varantharappilly-6
15 Peruvanam Graamam Panjath-6
16 Irinjalakuda Graamam Vaasupuram-4
17 Irinjalakuda Graamam Thannipulam-4
18 Irinjalakuda Graamam Thrivikramapuram-5
19 Irinjalakuda Graamam Kizhuthaani-5
20 Irinjalakuda Graamam Perumpaala-5
21 Irinjalakuda Graamam Raappaal-6
22 Irinjalakuda Graamam Chalakudi-6
23 Irinjalakuda Graamam Azhakam-6
24 Irinjalakuda Graamam Padmanaabhapuram-5
25 Irinjalakuda Graamam Kaattoor-5
26 Irinjalakuda Graamam Mepparamb-6
27 Irinjalakuda Graamam Thaamarappilly-6
28 Irinjalakuda Graamam Pazhangaamparamb
29 Irinjalakuda Graamam Puthumanakkara
30 Irinjalakuda Graamam Kaanjoor
31 Irinjalakuda Graamam Thirunaaraayanapuram
32 Irinjalakuda Graamam Puthenchira
33 Irinjalakuda Graamam Eswaramangalam
34 Irinjalakuda Graamam Paalappuram
35 Irinjalakuda Graamam Payiloor
36 Irinjalakuda Graamam Raamapuram
37 Karikkad Graamam Poothrukkovil-12
38 Karikkad Graamam Wandoor
39 Karikkad Graamam Kudissery-12
40 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Kamalaada 
41 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Kaanjilleri desam
42 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Vattakkulangara-3
43 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Kanniparamb-3
44 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Thalappanna-3
45 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Sreekrishnapuram-3
46 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Amruthamangalam-3
47 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Podiyaat-3
48 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Kolodi (Kolodi-Ramanalloor desam)
49 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Raamanalloor (Kolodi-Ramanalloor desam)
50 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Chaathamangalam (Chathamangalam desam)
51 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Kaarassery (Karassery desam)
52 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Pannikkot Sreekrishnapuram (half-desam)
53 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Ravipuram (Ravipuram desam)
54 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Ugrapuram (Ugrapuram desam)
55 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Unnimura (Unnimura desam)
56 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Koozhakkoottu (Koozhakkottu desam)
57 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Nellikkod (Nellikkod desam)
58 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Parappoor (Parappoor desam)
59 21-Desam (Kozhikode) Perumanpura (Perummanpura desam)
60 Perinchelloor Graamam Vellaavu kaavu
61 Perinchelloor Graamam Pananjaattoor
62 Perinchelloor Graamam Kottol
63 Perinchelloor Graamam Moothedath
64 Perinchelloor Graamam Paappinod
65 Perinchelloor Graamam Maadathil
66 Perinchelloor Graamam Nandeeswaram
67 Perinchelloor Graamam Someswaram
68 Perinchelloor Graamam Mazhoor
69 Perinchelloor Graamam Iruvessi
70 Perinchelloor Graamam Vadakkedath
71 Perinchelloor Graamam Kodalloor

| Article No:4.7.3 | Last update of this article:9th June 2003 |
Article by : Prof: P Kesavan Namboodiri, Paalakkal Illam, PO: Vilayil - 673 652, Malappuram Dist. Phone : 0493-725185

Sources of Information :
1. Kaanthakkara Pulloormannu Raman Namboodiri
2. Elamana Narayanan Namboodiri
3. "Pathompathaam Noottaandile Keralam" by P. Bhaskaranunni, published by Kerala Sahithya Academy

Home | What is New.. | Members | Welcome, Sponsors ! | Search For.. | Your Feedback

Copyright © 2000 Namboothiri Websites Calicut. All rights reserved.