By Acarya Dasa
On September 11th our pāda-yātrā party arrived in Bovikanam, a small village in the Kasaragod Taluk in Kasaragod district, North Kerala. It is located 12 kilometers east of the district headquarters of Kasaragod. We were fortunate to have had assistance from Sanatan Sankirtana Dasa who is from Bovikanam. He walked with us from Kannur all the way to Kasaragod and assisted us during our stay in the district.
Kerala’s Janmastami celebration
In North India Janmastami, the appearance day of Lord Krishna, was celebrated on August 15th but in Kerala Janmastami was celebrated a month later on September 12th. The dates differ because in North India it is calculated according to the Lunar Calendar and in South India it is based on the Solar Calendar. There is a small ISKCON center in Bovikanam and the devotees invited us to join them for the Janmastami celebrations which included: abhishek of the deities, katha, kīrtana, cultural programs and distribution of mahaprasadam. The temple had also organized a grand shobha-yatra held throughout the village in honor of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar.
The next day we performed splendid saṅkīrtana in different areas of the village. There were many Muslim people who participated in the kīrtana and purchased Bhagavad-gītās from us as well. The news of our arrival in the town and the powerful Harinama spread everywhere. The temple devotees were also very happy and said this year’s Janmastami was very special because Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar was with them.