Sabarimala Temple- Abode of Lord Ayyappan


Located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, the Sabarimala Temple has been a place of great devotion among the followers of the Hindu religion. The temple situated at the top of a hill at an elevation of 468mts above the sea level is also called the home of Lord Ayyappan who according to mythology is the son of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva and is believed to have qualities and powers of both the gods. It is the largest annual pilgrimage centre in the world with around 50 million devotees visiting each year.

Legend of Lord Ayyappan

There are many stories related to the legend of Lord Ayyappan the most revered and popular is that once when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishashur, his sister Mahishi aought revenge and performed austirites worshipping lord Bhramha from whom she was granted a boon that she won’t be killed by anyone except for the son of Lord Vishnu, sensing that both Lord Shiva and Vishnu were male and could not foster a child she accepted the boon. When her tyranny started rising all the gods and goddesses asked Lord Vishnu for help who then transformed himself into the beautiful nymph Mohini and bore a child with Lord Shiva. This child was known as Lord Ayyappan and became the destroyer of the demon queen Mahisha. In another story Lord Ayyappan is the reincarnation of Lord Sree Dharma Sastha who was born out of the union of Shiva and Mohini. Lord Vishnu gifted the new-born deity with a little bejeweled bell necklace, that’s why is also called Manikantha.

way to sabarimala

Temple of Sabarimala

It is no clear evidence that whoever started this pilgrimage or when but it is believed that the after the installation of temple it was almost unreachable till 3 centuries. The worship at the temple is held in five different manners for the Shaivites, Shaktists and Vaishnavites. The idol was erected in 1910 at the temple.

The pilgrimage

This annual pilgrimage is taken by people in which they have to take a fast for 41 days prior the pilgrimage and wear a special garland made u of Rudraksha or Tulsi beads. In general they are to follow a strict regime where they have to take bath twice daily and visit the local temple in regular basis and wear plain blue or black color regular clothing though out day though people are now wearing saffron colored clothes. The path to the shrine of Sabarimala is 61kms long and goes through forests. But due to establishment of better infrastructure the roads now expends up to the Holy Pamba river from where the pilgrims start their journey to the top of Sabarimala.

The holy temple of Sabarimala can be reached throughout the year.

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