Temple and Wakf boards join hands for Sabari devotees

Temple and Wakf boards join hands for Sabari devotees

A meeting of the top officials of TDB, Wakf Board and the local mosque committee held here yesterday decided to set up a joint committee to work out schemes to enhance the facilities of the pilgrims, for whom the town is a stop-over.

'Though the connection between Sabarimla and Eerumeli moseuqe have been there for long, it is for the first time that the members of the temple and the wafk boards are sitting across a table to discuss things. It is a significant thing and its has a noble message as well," Kerala Wakf Board Chairman K V Abdul Khadar told PTI.

According to local tradition,Vavar was a badit who later in his life became a follower of Lord Ayyappa and fought as his lieutenant in his campaigns against evils.

Local Muslims venerate Vavar as an 'oulia' (saintly servant of God) and a mosque had been built and dedicated to Vavar centuries back in this pilgrim town, which also has an important Ayyappa temple located less than 500 metres from the masjid.

The pilgrims pay respect to Vavar after worshipping at the temple before setting out on the arduous journey by foot through the forest to the hill temple.

The devotees also perform "pettathullal' ritual here with their bodies decorated with leaves and faces painted in colours,a custom recalling Ayyappa's battle, joined in by tribal people, against the buffalo-headed demoness, which was the main purpose of the incarnation of Ayyappa.

The descendants of Vavar still enjoy certain privileges at the Sabarimala temple with the seniormost memebr of the family pitching a camp there during the two-month-long pilgrim season.

The devotees, after praying at the shrine, would offer cash or a handful of spices like pepper to the Vavar family representative camping below the holy "Eighteen steps" at Sannidhanam.

TDB president M Rajagoplan Nair and senior officials and state Wakf Board chairman K V Abdul Khader, MLA, chairman of the mosque committee and office-bearers of various Muslim organisations attended the meeting.

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