ERUMELY: Thousands of devotees, including from the other southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, on Sunday witnessed the customary Erumely ‘pettathullal’, an important event of the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage.
The ‘pettathullal’, which celebrates Lord Ayyappa’s victory over demon Mahishi, was performed by Ambalappuzha and Alangattu teams.
The 500-member Ambalappuzha team, headed by Chandrasekharan Nair, 89, began the ritual from the Erumely Petta Sastha temple at 11.30am after witnessing ‘Krishnaparunthu’ on the sky above the temple.
The team members, whose faces were bathed in red and green powders, danced to the tunes of percussion instruments as caparisoned elephants led the way. Travancore Devaswom Board president N Vasu and member K S Ravi accorded a traditional reception to the when it reached in front of Erumely Sree Dharma Sastha temple.
The team circumambulated the ‘nalambalam’ of the temple and concluded the ritual after offering worship at its front at 1 pm. The 300-member Alangattu team, led by Vijayakumar, 75, began the ritual from Erumely Petta Sastha temple at 2 pm after witnessing ‘star’ above the temple. Members of the Alangattu team, who put sandalwood paste on their forehead, performed the pettathullal to the tune of percussion instruments, including ‘panchavadyam.’
The team concluded the ritual by offering worship in front of the temple at 4pm.The two teams will reach Lord Ayyappa temple here on Tuesday via the traditional forest trekking path of Azhutha and Karimala.