Erumely is in Kottayam District ( Commonly known as the land of lakes, latex, and letters.) in Kerala State ( The
God's own land.) in India.
It is a small and beautiful agricultural village, with full of small rivers,
streams, and hillocks, and well known for its rubber plantations.
Erumely is the gateway to Sabarimala, the
hillock shrine of Lord Ayyappa. This place is very famous for 'Pettathullal' a kind of mass spritual dance perform by Ayyappa
Pettathullal is performed in the Makaravilaku season i.e. from mid December to mid January every
Petttathullal is performed by devotees of Lord Ayyappa to comemmorate the annihilation of a 'Mahishi'
by Lord Ayyappa. The mahishi ,(in malayalam mahishi means Eruma i.e a she buffalo-a demon having the face of a buffalo) had
been playing havoc with the inhabitants of the locality, and making their life miserable.
This demon was born
with a shield that nobody born of man and woman could kill it.
It is believed that the aim of the incarnation
of Lord Ayyppa as son of Siva and Vishnu was the annhilation of this demon Mahishi.
After killing the Mahishi
at Erumely, Ayyappa performed a dance on her dead body. In order to comemmorate this dance of lord Ayyappa, the devotees perform
the ritual of mass spritual dance called pettathullal in Erumely.
The barefooted devotees perform this dance
by wearing black dothis, and garnishing their body with different colour powders and flowers and carrying toy bows,arrows
and shrub branchs and chanting the slogan "Ayyappathinthakathom, Swamythinthakathom"
name Erumely is believed to be derived from 'Eruma Kolly' (Kill Mahishi in Malayalam) and in long run transformed in to Erumely.
Erumely is an example of hindu, muslim, and christian amity.
En route the pilgrimage to Sabarimala
during the makaravilakku season almost all of the Ayyappa devotees will come to Erumely and perform the ritual. Pettathullal
starts from the small temple situated at the heart of Erumely town known as 'Kochambalam". From there the dance procession
advance to the muslim mosque called 'Vavar palli' opposite to Kochambalam and the devotees worship 'Vavarswamy'.
Finally the procession ends up at Dharmasastha temple known as 'Valliyambalam.' On this journey to Valliyambalam many
of the devotees pay homage and offerings at the christian chappel at Erumely in the name of St. Sebastianose.
Again, if we surf through history,we will see that once in 1900 AD when the Sabarimala temple was burned in a wild fire,
it was reconstructed by a christian man from Mavelckkara named Kochumman Muthalallly of Polachirackal house. After the death
of Kochumman muthalaly, the reconstruction work was completed by his son in law Vadekkethalackal Scria Kathanar, who himself
was a christian priest.
Hence Sabarimala pilgrimage and Erumely pettathullal are good examples of hindu
muslim and christian amity prevailing in Erumely and around.