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Vavar

Vavar was a Muslim saint, in whose memory there is a deity Vavarswami close to the proximity of the main Ayyappa Swami Temple at Sabarimala, Kerala by the side of Holy Pathinettampady (Eighteen steps). This deity of Vavar is believed to as old as the Ayyapa deity at Sabarimala main temple. A Muslim priest performs the rituals even today. There is no distinguishableidol, but just a carved stone slab symbolises the deity of Vavarswami. A green coloured silk cloth is hung across one of the three walls. The fourth side is open. An old sword is also kept near the wall. The main offering to Vavarswami is green pepper.
There are many legends about Vavar and his association with Ayyappa. Some believe that Vavarswami was a Muslim saint who migrated from Arabia to India with the intention of spreading Islam. Others suggest that he was a warrior who reached the shore of Kerala as a pirate in a ship to loot and plunder. During his encounter with Lord Ayyappa, he was defeated and subdued by Lord Ayyappa. Since then Vavar became a close associate of Lord Ayyappa and helped him in the wars in the mountainous region. As time passed ,Vavar too became an ardent devotee of Ayyappa just like Kadhuthaswami and came to be known as Vavarswami. The old sword on the wall of the Vavar shrine symbolises the eminence of Vavar as a great warrior. It is believed that the Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the King of Pandala Desam to build a mosque for Vavar at Erumelin, Kottayyam District and a shrine at Sabarimala.
The unique feature of the Sabarimala temple is that it is open for people of all faiths and many Non-Hindus conduct pilgrimage to this temple. The secular aspect of the temple is best exemplified by the existence of the “Vavar nada” in honour of vavar swamy at the close proximity to the main temple.

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