Thiruvananthapuram:The Mala Araya community will take out yatras next month claiming its rights over the Sabarimala temple.
The main yatra is likely to begin from Ayyankali smrthimandapam at Venganoor in Thiruvananthapuram district on December 11 and end at Erumeli on December 16.
This has been decided by the Sabarimala adivasi rights restoration committee headed by Bhoo Adhikara Samrakshana Samiti (BASS) general convener M. Geethanandan and chairman Sunny M. Kapikad.
BASS is a forum of 56 social organisations. Com-mittee coordinator Santh-osh Kumar told Deccan Chronicle that apart from the the main yatra, there will be other yatras. They will cover places like Aruvipuram where Sree Narayana Guru consecrated the Siva idol, the first non-Brahmin to do so in Kerala society, in 1888 and places associated with social reformers like Poykayil Appachan and Sahodaran Ayyappan.
As per historical records, the Mala Araya community was the original owners of Sabarimala. Mala Araya means 'King of the Hills' in Malayalam. The Adivasi community is one of the largest tribal communities in the state, with around 5,000 members residing in the hills surrounding Sabarimala.
As per the Mala Araya community, Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity at Sabarimala, was born to Kandan and Karuthamma, an Adivasi couple belonging to the Mala Araya tribe, in a cave at Ponnambalamedu near the Sabarimala temple.
The rituals performed by the Mala Arayas included Thenabhishekam -bathing the deity with honey- and Azhipooja. These rituals were abolished later. Mala Arayas also performed the lighting of the Makara Jyothi.
Mala Arayas allege that the Pandalam family visited the temple and brought along their own priests from the Brahmin Thazhamon Madom family....