Vanayathra – A journey through dense forest

25/10/2011 Journey to Sabarimala

Perur Thodu : It is a river about 4 km from Erumeli. Lord Ayyappa rested here during his expedition. It is from here the rise begins. Giving alms here is important. By giving alms, one is disposing of all dharma and seeking asylum in Ayyappa. The forest beyond Perur Thodu is poongavanam (Ayyappan’s garden)

Kalaketti : About 10 km from Perur Thodu is Kalaketti. The legend says that Lord Shiva, Ayyappa’s father, came on his ox and tied it here and witnessed Lord Ayyappa killing Mahishi. There is a shrine where the pilgrims light camphor and break coconuts.

Azhutha : Azhutha river, a tributary of Pampa, is about 2 km from Kalaketti. On the far side of the river is the steep Azhutha hill, famous for its arduous track. In the ascent of 2 km of steep climb there is hardly anyone who does not shed tears. At the summit of Azhutha is Kallidumkunnu. The pilgrims drop the pebble taken by them fromAzhutha river here. This is done as the mortal remains of Mahishi was cast off here and filled with stones.

Kallidumkunnu: The Azhuthamedu climb culminates at Kallidumkunnu and Inchippara,a little away from Kallidumkunnu. At kallidumkunnu the pilgrim reverentially drops the pebble that he had picked up from the river Azhutha.According to the Puraanic lore,it is believed that Kallidumkunnu is the place where Mahishi’s bodylay buried.

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