During Karkidaka Vavu on August 11, hundreds of devotees will visit the ancient Ayyappancoil (name of the place as well). But now the temple is partially submerged, though the pujas have been going on as usual.
Authorities, hoping that the temple will not be submerged, have made a bamboo bridge for the faithful to offer prayers during Vavubali.
The bridge can be removed once water recedes.
The bridge is being constructed with the help of tribespeople, who are experts in house construction using bamboo.
The temple is believed to have been constructed during the same period as of the Mangaladevi temple inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve bordering Tamil Nadu. The two temples were built using stones and had inscriptions in old Tamil script.
The tribespeople were the first to offer prayers at the temple on the banks of the Periyar prior to the arrival of the settlers.
With the commissioning of the Idukki dam, the temple used to be under water for two to three months beginning September as it falls under the reservoir area of the dam. However, this is for the first time that the temple is flooded in July itself.
Vavubali would be held as usual this time also, said Vinod, member on the temple committee. In 1981, 1992, and 2013, the temple was submerged.
Elders say there is a cave from the temple to the nearby Kovilmala, the abode of the Mannan tribe. Though a temple was constructed at nearby Thopipala, the tribespeople continued to worship at the remains of the old temple, which was later renovated on a raised platform.
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