deed: Kunju (extreme left) and his team under the Kuttippuram
forty feet deep, Malloor Kadavu in Nila under the Kuttippuram
bridge used to be a virtual death trap for Sabarimala pilgrims
from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. For
many pilgrims, a dip at the Kadavu and a darshan at the nearby
Shiva-Parvathi temple have been mandatory, though frought with
danger. But since 1996, Malloor Kadavu has been safe, thanks to
Kunju and his team, who have so far saved 23 lives.
Kunju going is the memory of his brother, who got drowned in the
Nila river in 1971 after saving a woman and her two children on
Vishu, which is New Year's Day in the Malayalam calendar. It was
this incident that made him take up the unusual vocation.
block panchayat member, he retired from his job as a bus driver
in the early eighties. Since then, he had been devoting most of
his time for humanitarian services in the Kuttippuram-Ponnani
areas. Kunju helps road accident victims and donates blood.
incidents increased at Malloor Kadavu during the Sabarimala season,
Kunju set up a team along with other villagers to warn all those
who step into the river in that area. Kunju says: "There are no
notice boards to warn potential victims."
operations got a big boost when C.T. Bappu Haji from Qatar donated
an open fibre boat to Kunju. With warnings in different languages
displayed on boards placed inside the boat, the team would camp
at the Kadavu from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m., when drownings occur.
was a setback in the form of a heart attack in 1996; doctors advised
Kunju not to swim in the river. But, he still continues to guide
and motivate his team. Says Kunhapputti, a team member: "The thrill
of saving a life motivates us."
Kunju's good work, the local police, block panchayat authorities,
merchants and the local temple committee have offered their co-operation.
They will sponsor the food requirements of the team during the
Sabarimala season. They have also made available 14 drums for
storing drinking water for the pilgrims.
a Muslim, is doing such a service for Hindu pilgrims is noteworthy.
Kunju explains: "I am a humanist and people of all religions are
important to me." A noble thought indeed in these days of communal
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Aaratu to Lord Ayyappan at Pamba:
Sabarimala Thandhri Shri Rajeev and Melshanthi Shri V.P.Shanbu
Vadthiyar Namboodri performed Aaratu to Lord Ayyappan on 1.12.2000
Flag Festival begins at Sabarimala:
Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple's annual ten day flag hoisting festival
began today. The Tandhri Shri Rajeev hoisted the holy flag.
Pooja to the Dwajasthambam (Flag Post) the flag was hoisted atmidst
thundering Sarana Ghosham by devotees.
ceremony the current Melshanthi Shri V.P.Shanbu Vadthiyar Namboodri
and others priests participated. Travancore Devasom Board Members
/ officials - Shri T.Sashidharan, A.C.Gothavarma, P.Menon Pillai
and others participated.
this period of festival the Sanctom Sanctorum shall be open at
5 PM it self. Palli Vetai Shall be performed on November
30th and Aratu shall be performed on December 1st 2000. On Aratu
day the Sanctom Sactorum will remain open only for a short while.
Chennai Online News 22.11.2000:
Ten Day Sabarimala Festival begins:
Pathanamthitta, Nov 22:
The 10-day-long festival at the
famed Sabarimala Ayyappa temple began today with 'kodiyettu'.
for the auspicious event began early this morning, with meticulous
cleaning and purification of the sanctum sanctorum and the front
eastern court, before the lighted traditional lamp, Tantri Kantararu
Rajeevaru offered worship to the festival flag. Then the head
priest, 'Melsanthi' V P Sambhu Vadyar Nampoothiri carried the
flag into the "Sreekovil" (the main temple).
transferring the divine spirit of Lord Ayyappa into the flag,
it was taken in a procession.
pooja" (flag worship) was conducted by 'tantri' and he hoisted
the flag amidst the chanting of "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" by thousands
of "Ucha pooja" was advanced to 1230 hrs. "Sree bhootha Bali"
began after "Athazha pooja" to the accompaniment of primordial
percussion instrument "pani" invoking "Bhootha ganas".
Bali" will commence from Thursday and it will be held on all the
festive days after "Ucha pooja" from 1230 hrs to 1350 hrs.
Bali Darshan" is scheduled from 1330 hrs to 1400 hrs. "Sreekovil"
will remain closed during "Utsava Bali" and devotees will be barred
from climbing the 18 sacred steps.
falls on November 20. "Arattu" in Holy River Pampa will be held
on December 1, marking the end of the Sabarimala Festival. (UNI)
Sabarimala Temple Pooja Timings:
Pathanamthitta, Nov. 19th 2000: Given
below are the temple pooja timings on account of Mandala Pooja
Special bus service to Sabarimala:
Pathanamthitta, Nov. 18th 2000: A
press release today said that the State Bus Transport Corporation
has said it has planned for Sabari Specials from December 1st,
2000 to 16th January 2001 to Pamba, Sabarimala. This facility
is availabe from Chennai, Cuddalore, Madurai and Sengottai. Advance
Booking is available for Chennai-Pamba route service, from 10
days before the date of journey.
For further details contact: Chennai: 5341835, Madurai: 739754,
Sengottai: 33216 Pondicherry: 203464.
Kavasam on exhibit for public:
Pathanamthitta, Nov. 17th 2000: The
Golden Kavasam of Lord Ayyappan has been placed on display at
the Pandalam Palace for the benefit of the Public. It will be
on display till December 26th 2000.
Then after a 4 day break it will be again displayed till 12th
January 2001.The display timings are: 6.30 am to 11.00 am and 3.00 pm to 7.00
The Hindu 16.11.2000:
The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Sabarimala temple opened
423 Special Trains to Sabarimala:
kOCHIN: For the benefit of the Sabarimala devotees 423 special
trains has been planned for the comming season said Railways Joint
These trains will be operational from 16 November 2000 to 20
January 2001. These trains are planned from Chennai, Bangalore
Visit Southern Railways
Advt. by Devaswom Commisioner on 1st November 2000 in 'The
Devotees coming on Pilgrimage to Sabari Mala should strictly
follow and observe the special religious
practices of the Temple. Only pilgrims with "IRUMUDI KETTU"
will be permitted to enter "PATHINETTAM PADI"
(Holy eighteen Steps). Women in the age group of 10 to 50 years
will no be allowed "Temple Darsan" and they will not be permitted
to go beyond Pampa.
In order to prevent environmental pollution using of articles
made with plastic and plythere etc., are strictly prohibited in
Pampa area and all roads / paths to "Sannidhanam" and surroundings
Smoking is also strictly prohibited in the above areas.
All pilgrims are humbly requested to co-operate with the Devaswom
Board Authorities for the sucessful conduct of the Festival.
The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Sabarimala roads still in bad condition
The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Sabarimala Melsanthis selected