26/4/07 : I had to make another quick trip to Kottayam to attend a meeting. This time I travelled in a hired Toyota Quallis and the route was the same as the one I took on the previous visit on 13th. I forgot to mention in the last blog that the road from Angamali via Perumbavoor upto Muvattupuzha has been now expanded and the drive of around 25 Kms is superb & smooth and you can cruise comfortably at 75-80 kmph.
after finishing work I left Kottayam around 5.00 pm. It had started to rain but it wasn't the typical high intensity Kerala downpour-Edavapadi was still some weeks away.The progress was slow upto Ettumanoor due to heavy traffic. Thereafter the traffic eased a little. I continued the journey in light rain,ascended the ghat section, crossed Kuruvalangad & Koothatukulam and reached Muvattupuzha. Thereafter the sky cleared and there was no further rain. I continued onwards till Kizhillam (19 Kms before P'voor) and stopped there to visit the little known Mahadeva temple located on the highway. A small but beautiful temple (reported to have been built about 300 years ago) with four entrances and a small stone deepasthambam at each entrance. The archakas and volunteers were a friendly lot and I engaged them in conversation. I had reached just in time for Deeparathanai and a small group of devotees had gathered to witness this. First there was Sanku Oothal (blowing of conch) and then chendai.Then the sanctum doors opened and deeparathanai for Lord Shiva was performed. It was truly a very enchanting sight. I experienced goose pimples in my flesh and my hair stood up as if electrically charged.
I reached Perumbavoor at 7.00 pm and decided to visit the Sastha temple there. To my good fortune 'pushpanjali' was being performed there when I arrived. I entered the temple to accompaniment of nadaswaram & thavil. Lord Ayyappa was submerged in a sea of multi coloured flowers. One of the devotees was performing Puspanjali and his entire family had gathered there. Two young boys were bringing in flowers in small cane baskets and handing them over to the Archakas who then showered the lord with the "Pushpams". This was an absolutely magnificent and awe inspiring sight I have never witnessed before. I stood in quiet obeisance and prayed blissfully to the Lord. After this the nadai was closed for a while then reopened for Deeparathanai.
Outside the temple stood an tall aal vriksham with a tarai around it. It is reported to be carrying three varieties of aal leaves.