Syncretic Traditions

The Kali Temple in Pavagadh, Gujarat has a dargah on top of it.This is the dargah of a Saint who was a devotee of the diety.

The temple draws devotees from all over.Everyone who comes to the temple goes through to its vimana, and seeks the blessings of the Saint.

Pavagadh is an important center of worship in the Hindu tradition.The Shakti or Goddess cult is very actively practiced here and it is said that this is one of the places where Sati’s body fell when the enraged Lord Shiva’s Tandav was interrupted by Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra. (See Shakti Peethas)

The ancient town of Pavagadh or Champaner is in the Panchmahals Disctrict of Gujarat, which is today one of it’s most communally torn provinces.

More on Pavagadh.


2 thoughts on “Syncretic Traditions

  1. Sabarimala (Malayalam: ശബരിമല) [ɕäbəɾimälə] is a pilgrim centre in Kerala in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of India. Lord Ayyappan’s temple is situated here in the midst of 18 hills. The area is in the Sahya hilly regions of Kerala in Pathanamthitta District. The temple is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 1260 m/4135 ft. above mean sea level, and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests. Temples existed in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. While functional and intact temples exist at many places in the surrounding areas like Nilackal, Kalaketi, and Karimala, remnants of old temples are visible in the remaining hills. Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demon, Mahishi.Sabarimala is one of the most visited piligrim centres in the world with an estimated 4.5 – 5 crores devotees coming every year. The world’s second largest annual pilgrimage, after Haj in Mecca, is reported to be to Sabarimala.

    The pilgrimage to Sabarimala is a singular example of one where pilgrims, without consideration of caste, creed, position or social status, go with one mind and one `mantra’ dreaming constantly of the darshan of the presiding deity at the Holy Sannidhanam. Vehicles can go up to Pampa. Thereafter, pilgrims have to follow a path approximately four kilometres up a steep hill. The path, now fully cemented, with shops and medical aid by the sides, used to be a mere trail through dense forest.

    There is a place near the temple (east of Sannidhanam), dedicated to the Vavar, a Muslim who was the associate of Ayyappan, called “Vavarunada”. The temple is open for worship only during the days of Mandalapooja (November 15 to December 26), Makaravilakku (January 15) and Vishu (April 14), and the beginning of every month in the Malayalam calendar. Sabari was a devout of Lord Rama and her devotion is widely attributed to that of an ideal devotee.Lord Ayyappa wanted his pilgrims to hon the same attributes as that of sabri and hence the hill on which the temple is situated is known as Sabari

    Vavar or Babar (real name) is 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 distinguishable idol, 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.

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