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vellamkudiThe austere devotional efforts have both an individual and group orientation. Pilgrim groups guided by a Guruswami, engage in some group rituals during the period of austerities. Vellam-kudi, which literally means drinking of water , is such a major ritual. The pilgrims assemble in the house of one of the pilgrims and the Pooja ( ritualistic worship) is performed there. Rice flakes, plantain fruits, sweetened baked rice called Ada, the puffed rice called Malaru, jaggery, jaggery-water etc., from the devotional offerings to the Lord. After the Pooja, these are distributed among the pilgrims as the Prasaadam, symbolic of Lord’s Grace. The Vellam-kudi may be conducted in the house of all the pilgrims in the group.