Pathanamthitta, Nov 29 (UNI) Siddiq Musaliyar Haji, a descendant of Lord Ayyappa's Muslim disciple Vavar, died of cardiac arrest at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam today.
Seventy nine-year-old Musaliyar Haji, while seated at Vavaru Nada in meditation, felt uneasy and was rushed to Sannidhanam Government hospital where he was declared brought dead at 1015 hrs.
He is survived by wife, six sons and a daughter.
On hearing the news, the ongoing ''Neyyabhishekam'' ritual was stopped. The sacred 18-steps were also closed to the devotees for an hour.
After conducting the purificatory rites like ''Pancha Punyaham'' and ''Sudhikalasam'' at the temple, under the guidance of Tantri Kantaru Maheswararu, the ''Neyyabhishekam'' was resumed at 1115 hrs.
Travancore Devaswom Board president C K Guptan condoled the death of Musaliyar and said the funeral expenses would be borne by the devaswom board.
Mr Musaliar was the seniormost member of the Vavar family who was allowed to be present at the hillshrine premises all through the two-month-long pilgrimage season to bless the pilgrims.
He served as the custodian of Vavar at Vavarunada, adjacent to Ayyappa temple, for the last 50 years during the Mandalam Makaravilakku pilgrimage season. His body was taken to the ancestral house at Padimannu near Mallappally around noon. The funeral will be held in the family Khabarsthan at the Vaipur Muslim Old Mosque at 1000 hrs tomorrow.