Kin of Lord Ayyappa’s Muslim disciple dies

via www.keralakaumudi.com published on November 30, 2007

SABARIMALA: A descendant of Lord Ayyappa’s Muslim disciple Vavar died of heart attack in the premises of the famed hillshrine here.

P A Siddique Musliar (79), collapsed and breathed his last while “blessing” pilgrims at the Vavar Nada near the ‘holy 18 steps’ of the temple.

He was the seniormost member of the Vavar family, which enjoys certain privileges at the hillshrine during the annual pilgrimage season.

Legend has it that Vavar was a bandit before he got reformed after becoming a follower of Ayyappa. Vavar was said to have served as Ayyappa’s trusted lieutenant in battles waged by the lord against evil forces.

Revered by both Muslims and Hindus, it is a practice for pilgrims trekking to Sabarimala to pay respect to Vavar at the mosque at Erumeli, some 40 km from Sabarimala.

Also, the seniormost member of the Vavar family is allowed to be present at the hillshrine premises all through the two-month-long pilgrimage season to bless the pilgrims.

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