Mattancherry: Imagine a hearteningly long stream of cool buttermilk winding its way down your parched throat as you stand under the scorching sun. Isn't that one fine proposition in summer? The Dharmanath Jain temple and the Jalaram Dham temple in Mattancherry have opened counters to distribute 'sambharam,' aka spicy buttermilk, to residents and visitors.
Offering buttermilk to devotees is more of a ritual now at the Dharmanath Jain temple. A small, road-facing counter is where you get the 'sambharam.' The counter remains closed during the rains and the thirst-buster window opens again during summer.
The 'sambharam' here comes with a mix of herbs. It is served without ice, in accordance with the directives issued by the Health Department. Consumption of roots is prohibited as per Jain Dharma and so ginger is not used in 'sambharam' preparation. However, at the makeshift counters at Amaravathi Junction and the Sharadha Wedding Hall along Palace Road, 'sambharam' comes with the extra punch of crushed ginger.
The Jalaram Dham temple, on Gujarati Road, has opened a special counter too. 'Sambharam is served from 11 am. Lots of people, including students from nearby schools, flock to the stalls to gulp down glassfuls of 'sambharam.' Many carrying small bottles to collect the spicy drink. The free 'sambharam' distribution will continue till the end of summer.