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Tantri: Kavanaadu Amallur Raman Namboodiri
The Begining
Sahar Sri Ayyappa Bhakta Sangham has come into existence in the year 1974, when a few Devotees of Lord Ayyappa in and around Sahar, headed by Mr M Krishnakumar, Mr KGK Nair, (Late) K Velayudhan, Mr P Radhakrishnan Nair and (Late) Karunakara Kurup (Maman), joined hands with the aim and objective of celebrating the Mandala Vilakku synchronizing with the Mandala Pooja Celebrations at Holy Sabarimala. The first Ayyappa Pooja & Bhajan was conducted at the residence of Mr K. Velayudhan in November 1974 and thereafter poojas & bhajans were conducted at the residence of various devotees during that Mandalam.

The Journey
Gradually more and more devotees from all walks of life joined together and got the Sangham registered as a Charitable & Religious Trust in 1975. The Sangham has completed 37 glorious years and enjoys a place of pride, as this is the only Sangham which has been conducting weekly Bhajans on every Saturday. Of late more and more ladies have also joined the bhajan troupe. Although the path of growth was not so smooth, the Sangham was able to grow steadily all these years due to the blessings of the presiding deities.

During a Devaprasnam conducted in September 1988, it was felt that the presiding deities, Lord Shiva & Devi Parvathi, need a proper shelter. In the subsequent meeting, the Committee of the Sangham decided to renovate the temple and make a Sreekovil as per Vaasthu.

There was a major obstacle to make the Sreekovil as the place found to build the Sreekovil had a huge banian tree nearby and the Sangham had no cash/bank balance and/or investment at that time.

On 15th November, 1988 the presiding deities were transferred to Balalayam by the hands of Brahmashri Kizhakke Pullamvazhi Parameshwaran Namboodiri of Haripad and at that time it was assured that the work of Sreekovil would be completed within 6 months. Two masons specialized in temple art were brought from Haripad in December 1988 and they worked continuously for two months to complete the work on the existing Sreekovil of Lord Shiva-Devi Parvathi.

When the work on the Sreekovil started, it was found that it was not in centre of the existing temple. Therefore, the temple itself had to be widened. During the process, due to the blessings of the presiding deities, the committee received tremendous support from people of all walks of life, which included prominent personalities like Mr V N Pillai, Mr T P S Menon, Mr Balachandra Menon (Sangham), Mr K Rajagopalan, Mr C R S Pillai, Mr G K Nair, Mr V C Nair, Mr M S Sreedharan Nair.

The blessings of the presiding deities were so powerful that the Committee, which started the process without a penny in the kitty, was able to accomplish the task well before the estimated time, of course, with wholehearted contributions from the devotees. The re-installation of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi was done at the hands of Brahmashri Kizhakke Pullamvazhi Parameshwaran Namboodiri of Haripad on 10th February 1989 (Revathi in Makaram).

The Sangham then faced new challenges conducting daily poojas, organizing poojary, their accommodation, a man for managing the temple - which all needed money. Whatever contributions received were utilized for re-installation of the temple.

Through the assistance of the Tantri, the Sangham was able to get the services of Mr Vasudevan Namboodiri of Haripad as the First Regular Priest of the Temple and Mr V Gopalakrishnan (Aniyan) Nair volunteered to look after the needs of the temple. Thus the temple started functioning both in the morning and evening.

All the members of the then committee unanimously decided to make a monthly contribution of Rs.100/- each, for a period of one year or till the temple could generate enough funds to meet the recurring expenses. The power of the deities is so great that within 3 months, the temple started generating enough funds to meet the daily expenses. Once the presiding deities got a proper shelter, there was no looking back and the temple grew steadily.

The Growth
The Sangham conducted another Devaprasnam in October 1999 when it was found that the temple needed several Doshanivarana Pujas. As the then Tantri Brahmashri K P Parameswaran Namboodiri expressed his inability to continue as the Tantri due to his old age and there was no one from his family to help us, Kavanaadu Amallur Raman Namboodiri of Nadavarambu, Irinjalakuda was found acceptable as the Tantri of the Temple. The Doshanivarana Pujas conducted in April 2000 were spread over 3 days with 6 priests from Kerala.
During the Devaprasnam conducted after the Doshanivarana pujas it was revealed that the presiding deities were happy with the pujas but there was a strong presence of Lord Ayyappa and Ganapathi and they too needed a proper shelter.

As the committee was receiving overwhelming support from the devotees, the Committee was able to achieve this task also within a year and an additional Sreekovil was built for Lord Ganapathi & Ayyappa, who were installed in the new Sreekovil along with re-installation of Lord Shiva-Devi Parvathi, on 5th April 2001 (Makam Nakshatra of Meenam). The programme commenced on 2nd April 2001 with NAVEEKARANA KALASAM and other Poojas performed by 7 priests who had specially come to help us.

After installation of Lord Ganapathi & Ayyappa, the growth of the temple was rapid and the number of devotees increased manifold reaching from faraway places.
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