Swamithoppu Temple is located on the way to Kanyakumari after Suchindram temple from Nagercoil. Swamithoppu Temple is for “Ayya Vaikundar” and Swamithoppu Pathi is the primary pathi of the Ayyavazhi. Swamithoppu temple is head of all Worship centers of Ayyavazhi, and the place where Ayya Vaikundar is said to have performed meditation (Tavam in Tamil). Ayya established following five pathis and these are pilgrim centers for the followers of Ayya. Because of five pathis this is called as “Pancha Pathi”. Swami thoppu temple is also called as “Thoppu Pathi”.
1. Swamithoppu Pathi
2. Mutta Pathi
3. Thamarakulam Pathi
4. Ambala Pathi
5. Poo Pathi
Swamithoppu Temple is formally known as “Poovandanthoppu” and situated in village of Thamarakulam in Kanyakumari district. Swamithoppu is the birth place of Ayya Vaikundar. At the age of 24, Ayya Vaikundar got enlightenment at Thiruchenthur on Mar3, 1833. Thoppu pathi is considered as the first pathi. Dedicated person in this temple conduct daily “Pnaividai” and managing all the activities. Daily panividai (pooja) starts everyday early morning 3’o clock. Ayya Vaikundar married with Thirumalammal and had two sons Puthukutty and Retnavadi.
Early Morning 3o’clock
After Noon 11’o clock
Main functions of this temple are “Kodiyettam Thirunal” and Car festival conducted thrice a year during the Tamil months of Avani, Thai and Vaikasi. People are coming here from different parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala take part in this festival. This festival starts on first Friday of Avani and Thai month, and second Friday of Vaikasi month.
Mutta Pathi is one of the Pancha Pathi and is the third important pilgrim center of Ayyavazhi. In Muttapathi, “Thuvayal Panthy” was conducted by the followers of Ayya Vaikundar Swamy. As per Ayya Vaikundar wishes, the last part of Thuvayal Panthy was conducted in Muttapathi. Ayya Vaikundar was given two Vinchais here by Narayana, One is just before the arrest of Vaikundar by Swathi Thirunal and the second one is after the completion of Thuvayal Thavasu.
The holy book Akilam refers it as ‘Muttappathi Nadu’ and also treats this place as high importance. Thuvayal Panthy was conducted belonged to a man from Kanyakumari. Hearing about Thuvayal Panthy, he came to that place and witnessed it. Later he became so attached to Ayya Vaikundar that he gave away that land to Ayya Vaikundar. There is a belief that Palkkadal is nearby Ayya vazhi followers and holy dip in this sea will sanctify them. Last Friday of the Tamil month Panguni, large numbers of people march from Swamithoppu to Muttapathi every year under the leadership of Payyan. You can reach this pathi by buses from Nagercoil.
Thamarakulam Pathi is one of the Pancha Pathi and the birth place of “Hari Gopalan”, who helped Ayya to write the holy book Akilam. Hari Gopalan established the present construction of this pathi. Harigopalan is one of the disciples of Ayya Vaikundar and was also called as “Sahadevan Cheedar”.
Thamarakulam was considered as a pathi because the holy book Akilathirattu (Akilam) was written here and this was one among the incarnational activities of Ayya Vaikundar. This is the place first he visited and started his first Pathi. This pathi is also called as “Thamarayoor Pathi“, managing by Thamaraikulam village people. Everyday panividai (Pooja) is being conducted here for Ayya Vaikundar. ‘Vahana bhavani’ (procession carrying Ayya in a Vahanam) is the important festival celebrated by Ayyavazhi followers from Swamithoppu pathi to Thamaraikulam. This one day festival is celebrated on last day of Tamil month Panguni.
Ayya Vaikundar went to the village “Pallam” and stayed there for two years. Ambala Pathi is also called as “Pallathu pathi” or “Moolakunda pathi”. This is one of the primary pathi in Ayyavazhi, and the second important pilgrim centers of Ayyavazhi.
This temple was constructed with 96 beams joining at the center and Ayya Vaikundar preached here. From these places devotees took Ayya on horseback to the villages Kadambankulam & Pambankulam and Ayya established Nizhal Thangals in these villages. At the end of the second year, Ayya Vaikundar returned to Swamithoppu from here.
Akilam gives equal importance and status to Ambalapathi with Swamythoppu pathi. Car festival is conducted every year in this pathi and many vahanas to carry Ayya Vaikundar around the temple.
Poopathi is one of the Pancha pathi and primary worship place of Ayyavazhi followers. Poopathi is situated at the place Ethamozhi about 12 kilometers from south of Nagercoil.
Poomadanthai was a little girl living near the village Ethamozhi in Kanyakumari district. A land load Sri Rangan lived in this village and had one daughter. The Seedars of Vaikundar went to Sri Rangan’s house with a proposal for her from Vaikundar because some devotees wanted to unite this divine couple; but there was strong opposition from the relatives of the girl. Poomadanthai was chanting the about Ayya Vaikundar and proved that she was extraordinary. Then Ayya Vaikundar’s relatives called Ayya to their village and gave the girl’s hand in marriage to Ayya Vaikundar. Vaikundar married Poomadanthai under the share of the laurel trees. The tree had thrown flowers to the couple to wish them well. This is the reason the name of this pathi is called Poo (means flower in Tamil) Pathi. Ayya Vaikundar took rest there in a grove full of laurel trees, and then returned to Swamythoppu along with Booma Devi. Devotees established a pathi at this place and it is called Poopathi.
All these above Pathies are located in Kanyakumari District.