Ethnonutritional, ethnomedicinal and sacred religious rites of “Karkidaka charya” a traditional seasonal practice of Kerala


  • Dr Raghi R G Government Ayurveda college, Thiruvananthapuram 695 001, Kerala
  • Dr Krishna Rao Central Ayurveda Research Institute, Bhubaneswar 751 003, Odisha
  • Dr Indu S Central Ayurveda Research Institute, Bhubaneswar 751 003, Odisha



Culture, Ethnomedicine, Ethnonutrition, Karkidaka charya, Kerala, Rites, Sacred religious, Seasonal practice


Karkidaka charya is the seasonal regimen followed during Karkidaka, the last month of the Malayalam calendar
(mid-July to mid-August). It is the month with torrential rain, low digestive fire and causing the vitiation of three humours (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) according to Ayurveda classics. Economic imbalances of the early farming communities, low immunity and environment which is favourable for epidemics, made the month of Karkidaka more vulnerable. Hence, our older generation followed a strict regimen to avert from this detrimental Karkidaka. The present study is a compilation of the traditional practices in Kerala during the month of Karkidaka and its critical analysis. About 22 unique practices were observed in different parts of Kerala during this month. Most of the practices were observed as a caution for upcoming pandemic in the severe rainy month. The practices cover ethnonutritional, ethnomedicinal and sacred religious aspects of Karkidaka charya.