SABARIMALA: Thousands of devotees witnessed the Erumely Pettathullal ritual, one of the important events of the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage season, at Erumely Lord Dharma Sastha temple on Friday.Pettathullal, the ritual cherishing the memory of Lord Ayyappa’s victory over the demon Mahishi, was performed by two teams - the 500-member Ambalapuzha team and the 300-member Alangattu team.
The ritual by the Ambalapuzha team, headed by 91-year old Periyor Chandrasekharan Nair, began at Erumely Petta Sree Dharma Sastha temple immediately after having a glimpse of the ‘Krishnaparunthu’ (Brahminy kite) on the sky above the temple at noon.
Applying colour powders, including red, blue and green, on the forehead and body, the team members began the ritual by dancing to the tune of the temple percussion instruments with caparisoned elephants carrying the ‘thidambu’ of Lord Sastha.
After receiving reception at the nearby mosque, the pettathullal team reached Erumely Lord Dharma Sastha temple with the Travancore Devaswom Board authorities according a reception in front of the temple. The ritual by the Ambalapuzha team concluded with the members circumambulating the nalambalam of Lord Dharma Sastha temple at 1.30 pm. Pettathullal by Alangattu team: The 300-member Alangattu team, applying sandalwood paste on the forehead, began from Erumely Petta Sree Dharma Sastha temple after having a glimpse of a particular star above the temple at 2 pm.
TDB prez refutes rumours, says will not resign
Refuting rumours that he has submitted resignation letter, Travancore Devaswom Board president A Padmakumar said he will continue in office till the end of his term. There were rumours that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked Padmakumar to resign as he was against the implementation of the SC order allowing young women to enter the hill shrine. As per rumours, he had already submitted resignation and the CPM was considering a leader from Alappuzha for the post. “Rumours have been spreading thick and fast about my resignation for a while. However, I ignored them. I would like to clarify now that I will nor resign and will continue in the post till November 2019, when my term ends,” he told Express. On Friday, Padmakumar visited Erumely to participate in the Pettathullal festival.