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  ( The Traditional Story )

About ten generations ago there lived a Vellala youth by name AYYAPPAN know as AYYAN. We do not know anything about his parents except that his uncle was one Perisseri Pillai of Erumeli, Kottayam dist, Kerala. Ayyan became the army chief of the Pandalam royal family.

Ayyan, who belonged to the Vellalar Kulam, was instrumental in the defeat of Udayanan, who attacked the Sabarimala and tried to demolish the ancient Sastha temple in the thick forest of present Pathnamthitta dist.

The Royal family of King Pandian had migrated from Tamilnadu about 800 years back. Pandian King reconstructed the destroyed Sastha temple at Sabarimala with the help of Ayyan, Vavar, a Muslim youth from Kanjirappally, Kadutha, a Nair youth from Muzhukeer, Chenganoor, Alapuzha dist.

During a clash Ayyappan was killed. Perissery Pillai, uncle of Ayyan constructed the

 

KOCHAMPALAM - old small Sastha temple - at Erumeli, opposite the VAVAR PALLY (MOSQUE), constructed by Muslims in memory of Vavar swamy.

After the demise of Ayyappan people thought that he was the avathar of Lord Sastha and began to worship him. Later Ayyappan and Sastha became synonymous. Some say that Ayyappan was the son of a Brahmin but Nalankal Krishna Pillai in his book "Mahashekthrangalkkumunpil" states that Brahmins never had the name AYYAPPAN or AYYAN.



In the age old "Elavarsevampattu" it was clearly mentioned that Ayyan belonged to "Vellalar kulam". Near Sree Ayyappa talkies of Erumeli, Kottayam, Kerala there is a vellala house called Puthenveedu. In the same compound there still is one 300 year old, thatched, depleted, mud house, the house of Perissery Pillai, Ayyappan's uncle and the Vellal Chieftain of Erumeli. There even today one can see the ancient sword used by Ayyappan to kill the monstrous ERUMA- mahisham. The place where the "eruma" was killed became Erumakolly and later Erumeli.

Pettaithullal at ErumelySabarimala pilgrims - "Ayyappans"- conduct the Erumeli PETTAITHULLAL during December-January months every year , here at Erumeli in memory of the killing of mahisham by Ayyan. "Ayyan / Ayyappan" Pillai is very common name among vellalas of Kottayam, Alapuzha, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala. A number of Ayyappan koils are constructed by Vellalas migrated from Tamilnadu to Kerala e.g. Erumeli, Kanam etc. Lakhs and lakhs of Tamilian Ayyappan devotees called the "Ayyappans" - come to Sabarimala every year to worship Tamil origin "VELLALAR KULA JHATHAN AYYAN AYYAPPAN".

 
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