Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple is one of the most ancient and prominent Sastha temples in the country. The temple is dedicated to the workship of Lord Ayyappa.It is Hindu pilgrimage center Located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala.The temple is resided on a hilltop about 3000 feet above sea level named Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district ,surrounded by mountains and dense forests. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to enter the temple.Ayyappa restricted the entry of the women in the menstrual age group.It is open throughout the once in year during the days of Mandalapooja, Makaravilakku , Chitra Vishu and and the first six days of each Malayalam months. Another name of Ayyappa temple is Sastha temple.
The Aazhi pooja is an important event associated with the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.Sabarimala is one of the five ‘panchashastha’ temples erected by the powerful yogi to protect Kerala from destructive elements, the others being Kulathuppuzha, Aryankavu, Achankovil and Erumeli.The Temple is administrated by the owned government of Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB). The Sabarimala temple is the incoming source of getting benefit to the government of Kerala state.
There is no accurate history about how and when the pilgrimage to Sabarimala began.It is believed that the deity of the temple was conducted by Lord Parasurama at the foot of Sabari hills for which reference has been made even in Ramayana. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh but also from other parts of country and abroad.Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Lord Ayyapa meditated soon after killing the powerful demon, Mahishi.
Another mythology says that its ‘Parasurama Maharshi’ who uplifted Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe and installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala.History about the worshiping method of god is that there are five methods of workship like Shaivites, Shaktists and Vaishnavites. At first there are three devotees section -first one is Shakti who used meat, liquor and drugs to worship their deity, second the devotees of Vishnu who followed strict penance and continence, and last one the devotees of Shiva who partly followed these two methods.In 1950 unknown persons destroyed the temple by breaking the ‘Sri-kovil’ and the main idol of worship, and set fire to the temple. The temple was reconstructed in 1971 underwent a major revamping.
Festival and Architecture
The pilgrimage season in Sabarimala begin from 14 November and extends to January 19 till Makara Vilakku. Makara Vilakku is most important festival at the Ayyapppa temple.It is a seven-day festival beginning on the day of Makara Sankranthi .Other important festivals are also celebrated at the temple include Onam, Mandalapooja and Vishu Vilakku. the Mandalapuja festival will conclude on December 27 the festival is celebrating 41 days.The most important occassion is Makarasankrant and Makaravilakku at the temple.The appearance of Makarajyothi that leaves an incrediable impression on the millions of viewer or visitors.the safeguard is on duty to provide safety for stolen the precious cache comprising a diamond diadem, gold bracelets and necklaces embedded with precious gems, Lord’s swords, silver arrows and images of elephant, horse and leopard fashioned out of gold.The shrine is situated on a lofted plateau over 40 feet high and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the valleys below.The temple at Sabarimala was built by Parasurama, the warrior-sage who reclaimed the Land of Kerala from the sea. The temple is surrounded by forest and jungles and 18 hills. The temple is situated at the elevation of 468 m and the height of the temple shrine is 1260m/4135ft above the sea level.
The Temple opens at Morning: 3.00am to 1.00pm
At Evening:3.00pm to 11.45pm. During monthly poojas and other festive occasions, temple opens at 0500 hrs, closes at 13.00 hrs and then again opens at 16.00 hrs and closes at 22.00 hrs.
Sabarimala Temple VirtualQ
Sabarimala VirtualQ is an online portal for Devotees to book a slot on the separate Queue maintained by Kerala Police. This helps devotees to reach Sannidhanam without waiting in the long queue usually formed at Pampa. The system generate fixed number of coupons for every hour, devotees can plan to reach Pampa on the specified time, and enter on to the queue without any waiting. This dedicated queue will be manned by Kerala Police exclusively for those coming with the VirtualQ coupon. The coupons and ID card will be verified by Kerala Police, before allowing them to enter the Queue.
Pooja Opening Date
How to reach Sabarimala Temple
By Rail: The nearest railway Station to this famous temple is Chengannur which is located about 93 Km from Pamba. Chengannur is located in the main rail route between Trivandrum and Kottayam and is connected by rail to all other railway stations in India. People coming from rest of India or north Tamil Naidu can come via Train till Ernakulam or Kottayam or Kayamkulam or Mavelikkara or Chengannur Railway stations. Form there they can board buses to Pamba
By Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is located 184 km away from the Ayyappa temple. Another one is Kochi International Airport is located 214 km away from the temple. From the respective bus stations pilgrimage can get buses to Pamba operated by KSRTC.
By bus/vehicles :Pampa is the nearest place to Sabrimala from where the temple is just 5 Km away. Pampa can be accessed only by road. KSRTC operates various bus services to the temples from various cities of Kerala.KRSTC operates buses from TVM Central, Punalur, Kottarakkara, Chengannur, Kottayam, Erumely, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kumily and many more places . During pilgrimage season there are frequent bus services to Pamba by KSRTC. People coming from rest of India or north Tamil Naidu can come via Train till Ernakulam or Kottayam or Kayamkulam or Mavelikkara or Chengannur Railway stations.