Sabarimala: The Vavar mosque at Erumely next to the Ayyappa temple, where the Sabarimala pilgrims visit, highlights the communal harmony in Kerala. Vavaruswamy was a Muslim saint who became a devotee of Lord Ayyappan, according to legend. At the mosque, a traditional Muslim family renders prayers and showers blessings on the Ayyappa devotees who arrive to have darshan at the temple nearby. The priests (parikarmis) of the Muslim shrine are the descendants of Vavaruswamy of the Vettiplackal family who have been serving there for the last 10 generations.
According to legend, Vavaruswamy, died at the place. As per family sources, the erstwhile Travancore royal family gave the title deed to the descendants of his family to stay at the place. The family is currently settled at Vaipur, 35 km from Erumely. “We wish to spread communal amity and peace among the people and we bless those who come here,” V.S. Abdul Rasheed Musaliar, 70, the current ‘Mukhya Parikarmi’ (chief vavar) of the shrine, told DC. He took up the position in 2010 after the tenure of his elder brother.
Currently, the family consists of 26 priests who have the right to be the priests of the shrine. Among them 10 selected persons will sit at the shrine by turn from the beginning of the Mandalam Makara Vilakku season. The chief priest is selected at a public meeting by 26 persons. The priests give an offering comprising pepper and dried grapes to the devotees at the shrine. They are also entitled for the offering by the devotees. One-fourth of it is given to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the rest is for the