Ayyappa Temple, SABARIMALA Temple all Information
“SWAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPPA”
Ayyappa Temple, often known as Sabarimala Temple, is situated on the Sabari hills, surrounded by mountains and dense forests. The dense forest, part of Periyar Tiger Reserve, around the temple is known as Poongavanam. Lord Ayyappa is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Mohini, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. And Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Lord Ayyappa meditated after killing the powerful demoness, Mahishi.
The Sannidhanam is the main temple. It consists of a sanctum sanctorum with a gold-plated roof and four golden finials at the top, two mandapams, and the balikalpura. The chief deity is Ayyappa and the Pathinettu thripadikal or the 18 sacred steps is the main stairway to the temple. As per the customs, no pilgrim without “Irumudikkettu” can ascend the 18 sacred steps.
Subsidiary Shrines Chaired In The Temple Are:
Kannimoola Ganapathi: Devotees offer part of broken coconut (Neythenga) in the fire.
Nagarajav: Placed adjacent to Malikappuram temple. Pilgrims after the Darshan of Ayyappa and Kannimoola Ganapathi, make their darshan to Nagarajav.
Maalikapurathamma: is visited after having darshan of Lord Ayyappa.
MANDALA KALAM i.e. the month of December and January
First five days of every Malayalam month.
On the auspicious day of Vishnu which certainly falls in the month of April.
CODE OF CONDUCT
- The devotee has to follow a Vritham (fasting) for 41 days.
- Women in the age of 10-50 yrs are not allowed to visit. However Supreme Court has lifted this ban. The Review petition against this ban is being considered.
- Has to wear a chain made of Rudraksha.
- Vegetarian diet
- Follow celibacy
- Complete abstinence from alcohol
- No use of profanity
- Control anger
- Do not cut your hair and nails
- Bath twice a day
- Visit nearby temples
- Wear plain black or blue colored traditional clothing.
- Carry a traditional offering in a cloth bundle, which is called as Pallikettu or Irumudikettu on their heads. A red-colored irumudi is used by a pilgrim on his first journey as a Kanni Ayyappan to Sabarimala, others use navy blue till the third year and thereafter saffron-colored irumudi.
MAKARAVILAKKU: An annual festival held on Makarasakranti. The festival includes the Thiruabharanam chartal i.e. sacred ornaments of Ayyappan are put.
LEGEND ABOUT SABARIMALA
Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana met Sabari at Sabarimala where she offered fruits to Lord Rama after tasting them. Lord Rama whole-heartedly accepted those fruits. There he saw a man who was doing tapasya and asked Sabri who it was, Sabari replied it was Shasta. Shasta stood up seeing Lord Rama. To recall, this incident is celebrated as Makaravilaaku where Shastav stands up to offer his blessings to the pilgrims. This is seen in ponnambalamedu, devotees gather at Sabarimala Sannidhanam to get a glimpse of Divya Makara Jyothi in the form of light or fire blazing in the sky.
HOW TO REACH
- Nearest railway station Thiruvalla or chenganoor and continue the rest of the journey on the bus.
- KSTRC runs special buses.
- Trek lovers can go through Erumeli-Pamba.
- Farm donkeys or horses can also be hired to be taken to Sannidhanam.
- Spice Villa
- Amritara Shalimar Spice Garden
- Kerala House
- Hostess Thekkady
- Oxygen Resorts Thekkady
- Hotel Ambadi
- White Portico