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Tourism > India > Kerala > Districts > Kottayam > Erumely


Erumely is a small and beautiful agricultural village, with full of small rivers, streams, and hillocks, and well known for its rubber plantations. It is the gateway to Sabarimala, the hillock shrine of Lord Ayyappa. This place is very famous for 'Pettathullal' a kind of mass spritual dance perform by Ayyappa devotees.

Pettathullal is performed in the Makaravilaku season i.e. from mid December to mid January every year. Petttathullal is performed by devotees of Lord Ayyappa to comemmorate the annihilation of a 'Mahishi' by Lord Ayyappa. The Mahishi (in malayalam mahishi means Eruma i.e a she buffalo-a demon having the face of a buffalo) had been playing havoc with the inhabitants of the locality, and making their life miserable. This demon was born with a shield that nobody born of man and woman could kill it. It is believed that the aim of the incarnation of Lord Ayyppa as son of Siva and Vishnu was the annihilation of this demon Mahishi. After killing the Mahishi at Erumely, Ayyappa performed a dance on her dead body. In order to comemorate this dance of Lord Ayyappa, the devotees perform the ritual of mass spiritual dance called pettathullal at Erumely.

The barefooted devotees perform this dance by wearing black dothis, and garnishing their body with different colour powders and flowers and carrying toy bows, arrows and shrub branches and chanting the slogan "Ayyappa-thinthakathom, Swamy-thinthakathom". The place name Erumely is believed to be derived from 'Eruma Kolly' (kill Mahishi in Malayalam) and in long run transformed in to Erumely.

Erumely is an example of Hindu, muslim, and christian amity. En route the pilgrimage to Sabarimala during the Makaravilakku season almost all of the Ayyappa devotees will come to Erumely and perform the ritual. Pettathullal starts from the small temple situated at the heart of Erumely town known as 'Kochambalam". From there the dance procession advance to the muslim mosque called 'Vavar palli' opposite to Kochambalam and the devotees worship 'Vavarswamy'. Finally the procession ends up at Dharmasastha temple known as 'Valliyambalam.' On this journey to Valliyambalam many of the devotees pay homage and offerings at the christian chappel at Erumely in the name of St. Sebastianose. Again, if we surf through history, we will see that once in 1900 AD when the Sabarimala temple was burned in a wild fire, it was reconstructed by a Christian from Mavelikkara named Kochumman Muthalallly of Polachirackal house. After the death of Kochumman muthalaly, the reconstruction work was completed by his son-in-law Vadekkethalackal Scria Kathanar, who himself was a Christian priest. Hence Sabarimala pilgrimage and Erumely pettathullal are good examples of hindu, muslim and christian amity prevailing in Erumely and around.

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