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  • Pancha Pathis

    Ayya established five pathis and a large number of nizhal thangals. These pathis are pilgrim centrers for the followers of Ayyavazhi. The first pathi is Swamithoppu itself. It is the head quarters of Ayyavazhi. The other pathis are,

    (1) Muttapathi
    (2) Thamaraikulam pathi
    (3) Ambalapathi
    (4) Poopathi.

    Let us know more about these pathis one by one.

    Muttapathi

     

    Muttapathi was the place where thuvayal panthy was conducted by the followers of Ayya Vaikuntar. Here, the last part of the thuvayal panthy was conducted as per Ayya Vaikuntar’s wishes. The seven hundred families lived there lived as a group; so there prevailed group economy.

    The neighbours heard about their pure vegetarian life. A lot of people came to witness the life of devotees. The coconut grove where thuvayalpanthy was conducted belonged to a man from Kanyakumari. He was a pious Brahmin. Hearing about thuvayalpanthy, he came to that place and witnessed it. He became so attached to Ayya Vaikuntar that he gave away that land to Ayya Vaikuntar.

    The present Muttapathi was established there and was under the direct control of the Swamithoppu Gurukulam. Later, due to some litigations, the land was auctioned by the Government. Those who got the land in the auction conducted the daily panividai. Now, their descendants conduct the panividai. Muttapathi is a private temple managed by trustees.

    Parkadal is nearby. Ayya Vaikuntar went into this sea just before His arrest and also after the completion of His penance to meet Lord Vishnu. Ayyavazhi people have a belief that, it is sanctifying to take a holy dip in the sea at Muttapathi. Every year, on the last Friday of Panguni, people march from Swamithoppu in large numbers to Muttapathi. The Gurus from Swamithoppu conduct the panividai and also the annadharmam on that day.

    Muttapathi is on the sea shore just two kilometers north of Kanyakumari. A fishing harbour called as Chinnamuttam is being constructed nearby. One can reach this pathi by a town bus form Kanyakumari.

    Thamaraikulam Pathi

     

    Thamaraikulam is the birthplace of Arigopalan, one of the disciples of Ayya Vaikuntar. He was also called as Sahadevan. He helped Ayya to write Akilathirattu, the holy book. So, he became well known of all the disciples of Ayya Vaikuntar. People of this village once invite Ayya Vaikuntar to their village. Ayya Vaikuntar went there and He was given a warm welcome and a treat Ayya Vaikuntar stayed there for a day and returned to Swamithoppu.

    During the early years, Ayya Vaikuntar was taken to village in a Vahana once in a year. The auspicious day was the last Sunday of the Tamil month Panguni. In those days, people celebrated this occasion as a festival. This practice has been discontinued for the past fifty years. Daily panividai is being conducted here. Now, there are vahanas made of wood for the festivals. The festivals and day-to-day affairs of the temple are conducted by the village people. This pathi is managed by a Village committee.

    Thamaraikulampathi is situated in South Thamaraikulam, one kilometer south of Swamithoppu. One can reach this place from Nagercoil or Kanyakumari by town bus. It is fourteen kilometers away from Nagercoil.

    AmbalaPathi

     

    Ayya Vaikuntar went to a place called Pallam and stayed there for two years. This place is as Ambalapathi. Ayya Vaikuntar was a Shivasorubi at this place. Here, as a Shiva-Sorubi, Ayya assumed the powers of Parvathi and Bhagavathi. As Lord Muruga, He assumed the powers of Valli and Theivanai. As Brahma, He also assumed the powers of Mandaikattal. It was from this place that the devotees took Ayya on horseback to such villages as Kadambankulam and Pambankulam. Ayya established nizhal thangals in these villages. Later, at the end of the second year, Ayya Vaikuntar returned to Swamithoppu.

    The ambalam constructed by Ayya Vaikuntar was not maintained properly and this ambalam became dilapidated soon. Later, on this very spot the owners of the land constructed a temple and conducted daily panividai. Now, this pathi is managed by the descendants of the people who constructed the temple.
    Every year, car festivals are conducted in this pathi. There are many vahanas to carry Ayya Vaikuntar around the temple. This pathi is located ten kilometers south of Nagercoil. There is a direct bus service from Nagercoil to this place. This is one of the most important pilgrim centeres of Ayyavazhi people. This pathi is also called as Pallathupathi and Mulagundapathi.

    Poopathi

     

    Ayya Vaikuntar spent His last six years at Swamithoppu. He lived a normal life. He had owned fields and groves. He also maintained cattle. Boomadevi known as Poomadanthai was a little girl living at a place near Eathamozhi. Some devotees wanted to unite this divine couple; but there was stiff opposition from the relatives of the girl. Poomadanthai was chanting the praise of Ayya Vaikuntar and proved that she was extraordinary.

    Later, the relatives called Ayya Vaikuntar to their village and gave the girl’s hand in marriage to Vaikuntar. Poomadanthai was happily united with Ayya Vaikuntar. Ayya Vaikuntar took rest there in a grove full of laurel trees. It was a beautiful place. The buds of this trees were like pearls and the place was very cool.
    Later, the devotees established a pathi at this place and it is called Poopathi. Festivals are conducted every year and this temple is owned by the village and maintained by a village committee. Poopathi is located about ten kilometers south of Nagercoil near Eathamozhi. One can reach this pathi by bus from Nagercoil.