What do you know about the Malayalam month of Karkitaka? It falls in August, just before the month of Chingam, which represents prosperity for Malayalis. Karkitaka is also known as the month of Ramayana among Malayalis. People read the great Indian epic, Ramayana in their houses as well as in temples during that month.
Incessant rain is one of the characteristics of Karkitaka; the month is also called panja (scarcity) karkitaka as the rains and the climate cause a lot of hardships to the agrarian community of Kerala. Many illustrious writers of the language have referred to the difficulties posed by the incessant rains of the month, in their short stories or poems. For example, the Jnanpith awardee, M T Vasudevan Nair had written a short story named Karkitakam, in which he details the poverty and suffering of a family which is all the more enhanced by the visit of a guest during Karkitaka.
The monsoons during Karkitaka force everybody to keep themselves indoors; Ayurvedic practitioners say that it is the right time to perform some rejuvenating Ayurvedic therapies. The resorts in Kerala have now come up with various ayurvedic packages for the month and they will help body regain its strength and vitality. Karkitaka kanji, a gruel made of many herbs and other natural medicinal ingredients, is said to be very effective in maintaining the health of body and mind.