Chandanakudam and ‘Petta thullal’ festivities from today
The intensifying restrictions on public gatherings notwithstanding, a spiritual frenzy has engulfed Erumely, the main base camp of Sabarimala pilgrims, with the town here slated to host the two-day long festivities of Chandanakudam and ‘Petta thullal’.
The celebrations also mark the final phase of this edition of the annual pilgrimage season to Sabarimala.
The Chandanakudam celebrations, organised by the Erumely Mahallu Muslim Jamaat, will take off with a procession from the Nainar Mosque by 7.30 p.m on Monday. Accompanied by percussion ensembles and art performances, the procession around the town will be accorded a reception and conclude at the mosque by 1 a.m.
Prior to the procession, Minister for Cooperation and Registration V.N. Vasavan will inaugurate the Chandanakudam event at a public meeting, to be presided over by P.A. Irshad, president of the Jammat.
Travancore Devaswom Board president A.Ananthagopan, District Collector P.K. Jayasree and Anto Antony, MP, will be also present.
The Chandanakudam is being celebrated every year to relive the unique bonhomie between Lord Ayyappa and his trusted Muslim lieutenant Vavar and the tradition of communal harmony in the area. In view of the COVID restrictions, only one elephant will be paraded while the number of participants too will be restricted this time
The festivities on Tuesday will begin with teams from Ambalappuzha and Alangad, which represents the maternal and paternal lineages of Lord Ayyapppa, taking up the spiritual dance. The thullal by the Ambalappuzha team, led by ‘Samooha periyon’ N.Gopalakrishna Pillai, is slated to begin from the Kochamblam here after the sighting of the Brahmini Kite (Krishna Parunthu) in the skies, by noon.
The Alangad team will kickstart their dance by the afternoon after sighting the ‘star’ in the day skies. The legend has it that Erumely was the scene of a fight between Ayyappa and Mahishi, the demon princess.
A meeting convened by the District Collector here the other day reviewed the arrangements in place for the festivities. Attending the meeting, the District Police Cheif Shilpa Devaiah issued directions to restrict public participation in the celebrations.
Meanwhile, the town has been witnessing a huge influx of devotees with the opening of the forest route to the hill temple. The entire town is full of pilgrim vehicles while the local business enterprises including the restaurants and shops have been doing brisk business.
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