21 Dec, 2006 The Erumeli Blog

The vavar swami mosque

Vavar is believed to be a close friend of Sri Ayyappa. The vavar swamy mosque is situated right opposite the entrance of the Kochambalam (little temple) where there is an idol of Sri Ayyappa. The pilgrims, after paying obeisance at the Kochambalam, come out dancing, dance into the Vavar swamy mosque, shouting out their traditional chants and with the accompaniment of a musical band with drums and nadaswaram. Then they come out and dance their way through the streets of Erumeli to the Big temple (Valiyambalam).


Erumeli (or Erumely, as it was spelt earlier) is a small town in Kottayam district. Famous for the lakhs of devotees who visit Erumeli during their pilgrimage to Sabarimalai, Erumeli is often noticed as a place of communal amity between its Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

I hail from Erumeli, did part of my schooling there and my parents are settled in Erumeli as of my writing this.

This site is an attempt to collect all available information on Erumeli in one place, offer a photo gallery of Erumeli, its festivals, institutions and inhabitants and at some later stage, offer Erumeli-related news updates.




Kochambalam entrance


Why the colours on the faces of the devotees? The dance is called Petta Thullal.

The legend goes that the adivasis of Erumeli helped Lord Ayyappa in his battle with Mahishi (eruma in Malayalam). So the pilgrims who come to Erumeli are expected to wear black, smear paint and powder, brandish wooden swords and knives (and balloons!) and dance in a manner that resembles the adivasi's joyous dance.

Nowadays, of course, things have changed and you see the same fervour, but people seem to be carrying 'gada's too!


The Erumeli photo gallery

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