Erumeli - Gateway Town to Sabarimala Temple - THE HINDU PORTAL - Spiritual heritage Rituals and Practices

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Erumeli - Gateway Town to Sabarimala Temple


Erumeli - Gateway Town to Sabarimala Temple
Erumeli, also spelled Erumely, is an important pilgrim center situated about 65 km from Kottayam and 13 km south of Kanjirappally, in Kottayam District of Kerala. Erumeli is a serene base camp to visit Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. Koratty River, a small river, marks the entrance of Erumeli town.

Erumeli is regarded as a place of communal harmony, as the Erumeli Sastha Temple (Kochambalam) and Erumeli Mosque is situated here, facing each other. Erumeli mosque is dedicated to Vavar Swamy who is considered to be the companion of Lord Ayyappa. The pilgrims worship the mosque also. Erumeli is renowned for Petta Thullal (Erumeli Pettathullal or Erumeli Petta Thullal), a ritual dance performed by the Sabarimala pilgrims.

The name Erumely is said to be derived from the Malayalam words “Eruma Kolly”. According to the legends it is the place where Lord Ayyappa killed the demon buffalo Mahishi on the way to collect tiger milk. Hence Lord Sree Ayyappa Swamy is also known by the name “Mahishi Mardanam". The place name Erumakolli in the long run transformed in to Erumely.
                                                      Vavarswamy
Vavarswami, or Vavar, was the trusted lieutenant of Lord Ayyappa. This Muslim warrior led the army of Ayyappa in several battles against the enemies of the land. The Sacred spot of Vavar is located below on the eastern side of the pathinettam padi or the holy eighteen steps at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple.

In the beginning Vavar was a thug but changed his lifestyle and thinking after he was defeated by Ayyappa. After the advice of Lord Ayyappa, Vavar became his best friend.

Vavar led the army of Ayyappa against maravappada from Erumeli. In remembrance of this event, the Petta Thulla is held at Erumeli temple and mosque.

At Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Vavar is offered kurumulakku (whole pepper), Sandalwood paste (chandan), Karpooram and Agarbhati.


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