Sabrimala Temple is one of the most revered temples of kerala which is located on the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district of south Indian state Kerala. It is one of the most remote shrines of south India but is thronged by 30 to 40 pilgrims each year that makes it one of the most visited shrines of India. Surrounded by dense forests and mountains it is believed to be the place where Hindu lord Ayyapan meditated after killing the powerful demo ness Mahishi. Sabarimala Temple is situated on the hilltop about 3000ft above the sea level is one of the most ancient and prominent Sastha Temple which is opened for the people of all faiths and religions. There is a place near the temple east to Sannidhanam which is dedicated to Vavar a Sufi friend of Lord Ayyappa is renowned by the name of Vavarunada is an epitome of religious harmony. Ayyappan’s temple is situated amidst 18 hills at the hill top. There are various temples exist on each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala like Nilackal, Kalaketi, Karimala along with the remnants of old temples that survive to this day on these hills. According to a popular belief Maharshi Parshuram who retrieved Kerala from Sea by throwing His axe, installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa.
The Sabarimala temple is linked to Hindu pilgrimage and is predominantly for men of all ages. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to enter the temple this is because Lord Ayyappa is a Bramachari a celibate. Certain customs are to be strictly followed if one has to take the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. It is believed that the pilgrims have to follow austerities for 41 days to cleanse their minds before going to Sabarimala. Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader and each carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi Kettu containing traditional offering.
Best time to visit Sabarimala Temple
The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. During these months visitors will come across from all parts of the world. Mandala Pooja in November and Makaravilakku in January are two main events of the pilgrimage season. The temple stay closed during the rest of the years except the first five days of every Malayalam Month and during Vishu April.
Major attractions of Sabarimala Temple
Nilackal Mahadevar Temple:- This is an important temple en route to Sabarimala and located between Plappally and Pampa. This is an immediate halting area with parking facilities and most of the pilgrims to Sabarimala halt here for their further journey.
Erumeli Sastha Temple:-Erumeli Sastha Temple is an important meeting place in the pilgrimage trip to Sabarimala. There is a Muslim temple situated very near to the Sastha Temple represents the religious harmony. It is situated at a distance of 38 km from Kottayam.
Achankoil Sastha Temple:- The temple is a sacred place of worship where the pilgrims from the neighboring state like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka come in groups through out the year. The main festival season here comes during the Mandalam Puja. The nearest rail head is at Shenkottah in Tamil Nadu.
How to reach Sabarimala Temple
By Air:-The pilgrims can reach Sabarimala through Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi & Nedumbassery by Air and from there reach Pampa by bus/car.
By Rail:-The Sabarimala Temple can be reached by Kottayam and Chengannur and Punalur and from there by bus to Pampa.
By Road:- KSRTC has started operating buses to Coimbatore, Palani and Thenkashi from Pampa for the convenience of the Sabarimala pilgrims. Apart from this the Government of Tamil Nadu & Karnataka has been given the permission to operate buses to Pampa.
Kerala Pilgrimage Vacations
|Sabrimala Temple||Guruvayoor Temple|
|St Francis Church||Cheraman Juma Masjid|
|Padmanabhaswamy Temple||Ettumanoor Temple|
|Aranmula Temple||Attukal Devi Temple|