Thursday, 23 July 2009

Erumely-Sabarimala Route (By Walk)

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

1Erumeli

It is about 56 km from Kottayam. There are shrines for Lord Dharmasastha and Vavar Swamy (the Muslim lieutenant of Lord Ayyappa).
The first timers to Sabarimala, called Kanniswamy, perform pettatullal. Pettatullal is painting the face with colours and dancing with wooden weapons to make one look odd.
The essence of this practice is to give up ones' ego and surrender to Lord Ayyappa. They go round the Ayyappan Temple and Vavar Shrine and later bathe in the river.
Then the temple is visited again to seek authorization from Lord Ayyappa to tread the sacred hill Sabari. Later the pilgrims leave Erumeli under the guidance of their Guru for Sannidhanam.

2Perur Thodu

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).

3.Kaalaketi

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.AzhuthaAzhutha 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.
5.Azhutha River
6.Kallidumkunnu
7.InchipparakotaThe 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.
8.Mukkuli
9.Kariyilam Thodu
10.KarimalaiKarimala 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 NadiPampa 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.


Distance Erumeli to Pampa



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

No comments:

Post a Comment