It is about 56 km from Kottayam. There are shrines for Lord Dharmasastha and Vavar Swamy (the Muslim lieutenant of Lord Ayyappa).
It is a river about 4 km from Erumeli. Lord Ayyappa rested here during his expedition. It is from here the rise begins. Giving alms here is important. By giving alms, one is disposing of all dharma and seeking asylum in Ayyappa. The forest beyond Perur Thodu is poongavanam (Ayyappan's garden).
About 10 km from Perur Thodu is Kalaketti. The legend says that Lord Shiva, Ayyappa's father, came on his ox and tied it here and witnessed Lord Ayyappa killing Mahishi. There is a shrine where the pilgrims light camphor and break coconuts.
|4.||Azhutha||Azhutha river, a tributary of Pampa, is about 2 kms from Kalaketti. On the far side of the river is the steep Azhutha hill, famous for its arduous track. In the 2 km of steep ascent there is hardly anyone who does not shed tears. At the summit of Azhutha is Kallidumkunnu. The pilgrims drop the pebble taken by them from Azhutha river here. This is done as the mortal remains of Mahishi was cast off from here and filled with stones.|
|7.||Inchipparakota||The next important place is the Inchipparakota where there is Kotayil Sastha shrine. Pilgrims offer prayers here and break coconuts. From here the pilgrims descent the slippery path carefully. The descent ends at Karimala thodu (canal) with Azhutha hill on one side and Karimala hill on the other. Pilgrims rest here for a while.|
|10.||Karimalai||Karimala is the abode of elephants which visits the Karimala canal to drink water. Pilgrims light the aazhi (campfire) to protect themselves from wild animals and cold weather. Karimala hill consists of seven levels and is climbed in stages. As the ascent of 5 km is difficult the pilgrims continuously chant saranams. On top|
of Karimala the terrain is flat suitable for the pilgrims to rest. It is interesting to see the Nazhikkinar - a well within a well with fresh spring like water. Prayers are then offered to Karimalanthan, Kochukaduthaswami and Bhagawathi, all deities. From here after the exhausting descent one reaches the Pampa river that is about 5 kms.
|11.||Periya Annai Vattam|
|12.||Seriya Annai Vattam|
|13.||Pampa Nadi||Pampa is the most important and holy spot on the way to Sannidhanam. It is here that Lord Ayyappa was found by King Rajasekara. The Pampa river is as holy as the Ganges. The Pampa water purifies one from curse and evil.|
Thursday, 23 July 2009
The Erumeli route is the hardest and longest trekking route (around 60 Km) to Sannidhanam and the route passes though forested hills. At Erumeli, there are shrines of Erumeli Sastha Temple and the Erumeli Muslim Mosque, popularly knows as Vavar Palli.
At Erumeli, there are the shrines of Erumeli Sastha Temple and the Vavar Palli (Erumeli Mosque).
From Erumeli, there is about 50 km long trekking route through forested hills to reach the shrine. There are many pilgrim spots on its way. It covers the areas Perur Thodu, Kalaketti, Azhutha, Kallidumkunnu, Inchipparakota, Mukkuzhi, Kariyilam Thodu, Karimala, Periya / Valiya Annai Vattam, Seriya Annai Vattam and Pampa River.
After reaching Pamba, the 6 km trek up to the Sabarimala shrine culminates in the Pathinettam Padi.
Major Stops in Routes
Erumeli - Kaalaketti - 11Kms
Kaalaketti - Azhutha - 2.5 Kms approx
Azhutha River - Pampa - 37 Kms approx
Peroor Thodu - Irumboonikara - 3 Kms (Forest starts from Irumbooni Kara)
Irumboonikara - Arasumdi Kotta - 3 Kms approx