Erumeli Dharma Sastha temple
Erumeli is 65 km from Kottayam town. The way to trek to the Sabari Mala starts there in a place called KOttapadi. In this temple Dharma SAsthra is in the hunter(kiratha form). This seems to be appropriate since in the olden times the way to Sabari malai was filled with wild animals and the help and blessing of a hunter is needed to reach there. In Erumeli there is also a Mosque dedicated to Vavar the muslim friend of Lord Ayyappan and a Ganapathi temple in Kottapadi. Pilgrims offer worship at the Maha Ganapathi temple at KOttapadi, dress and paint themselves as hunters, Worship at the mosque of Vavar and reach the Erumeli temple. There they dance before the deity. This dance is called Petta THullal. The devotees believe that Lord Ayyappa also would be along with them when they do Petta Thullal.
On or around January 12th every tyear two teams one from Ambalapuzha and another from Alangad reach Erumeli to do Petta Thullal.This would be preceded by carrying of Chandana Kudam(sandal pot) to Vavar;s mosque.The tem of Ambalapuzha team would start their Petta thullal from the Kiratha Sastha temple lead by their leader(Periyon) and they would reach the Muslim mosque dancing. There they would be honoured by the priests of the Mosque. There is a tradition that they would start dancing only after seeing the Krishna Parunthu (Brahamani eagle) flying in the sky. The Alangad team would arrive in the afternoon and would start their dance only after sighting the star in the after noon sky. From there both teams would proceed to Pamba and participate in a grand feast there.