Story of Malu, the dog who walked 600 km to Sabarimala to keep a pilgrim’s company and has since found a forever home, will make you smile and reaffirm your faith in the loyalty of animals
Naveen and Malu met on the second day of the ‘yatri’s’ nearly 700km pilgrimage by foot from the Mookambika temple in Kollur, Udupi, to the Sabarimala shrine in Pathanamthitta.
Believe it or not! 38-year-old Naveen, a resident of Kozhikode in Kerala, completed the 600-km journey on foot in 17 days. And Malu was there behind him and Malu stuck with him all he way. Malu was also there when Naveen returned home on December 23. Naveen brought Malu back home with him next to him in a KSRTC bus.
Naveen, who is an employee of the Kerala State Electricity Board was quoted as saying by media, “It was after nearly 80 kilometers or so, that I noticed her. She walked towards me from the opposite direction and stopped when she reached right in front of me. I did try shooing her off many times, but she would just not go.”
Malu always maintained a distance of about 20 metres from Naveen and walked ahead of him and even protected his belongings in the night.
The 600km journey earned the dog a name — Malu, which is short for “Malikappuram”, a term used to address female Sabarimala devotees, a black belt and mudra mala around her neck, and of course a family.
Naveen took special permission of a KSRTC special officer to make arrangements to bring Malu back home with him.
Malu now has a large cardboard box that she calls home in Naveen’s house in Beypore. And also wears a brown-beaded necklace around her neck to remind herself and all those around her of her incredible journey.