Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Swamy Temple - Sabarimala

Sabarimala Sree  Ayyappa  Swamy Temple :-

LORD AYYAPPA, the presiding supreme deity of Sabari Hills is worshipped by millions of devotees.

A visit to Sabarimala brings to the devotees' contentment, spiritual upliftment, prosperity and fulfillment of devotees' desires and wishes.

The months of Kaartika / Vrishchika, Maargazhi / Dhanur (15 Nov - 15 Jan) are most auspicious for Sabarimala pilgrimage.

Lord Ayyappa had his Avataaram on Saturday, Maargazi Panchami in uttara nakshatram. Makara Jyoti appears on this day.

During Vrischika, Dhanur and Makara (Nov, Dec & 1st half of January) months, Mandala puja is celebrated on Sabari Hills.

Facing the Ayappa Idol:-

The beautiful idol of Lord Ayappa is made of Panchaloha (a five metal alloy) and is about one and a half feet high. Lord Ayappa sits in a meditative pose, with a band around the folded legs and right hand in 'chinmudra' with the forefinger touching the thumb indicating "Thou art that". Lord Ayappa grants refuge to His devotees and protects them from all evils.

To the south of the main shrine is a Ganesha idol and to the left are the idols of Subramanya and Goddess Mala. The shrine of Mallikappurathamma Devi is 100 meters away from the 'srikoil'. One can also find the shrine of Vavar, the Islamic confidant of Lord Ayappa.

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple which attracts millions of devotees every year from all over the country and abroad, is one of the ancient mountain shrines situated in a deep, dense forest on the virgin hill of Sabari, in the Ranni-Perunad village of Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, in South India.
                   Surrounded by lush tropical jungles and 18 hills, the shrine is over 4000 ft above sea level. Sabarimala is part of Sahyadris (Western Ghats); remnants of ancient temples are visible in the adjoining hills and at Nilackal, Kalaketi and Karimala offerings are still made to the devis/devas.
The Temple which can be reached only on foot has been captivating devotees from ancient times. The arduous trek of nearly four kilometres through the thick jungle, after crossing River Pampa, has been a source of spiritual chastisement and cleansing for the devotees who visit the shrine every year driven by divine magnetism.
‘Vavar Thara’ is located close to the Shri Ayyappa temple. Legend has it that Vavar, a sufi saint, was close to Swami Ayyappa. Location of ‘Vavar Nada’ in the premises of Swami Ayyappa temple and the custom of Ayyappa devotees offering their prayers at the Vavar Nada are hailed as fine examples of secularism and communal harmony. Another significant aspect of Sabarimala pilgrimage is that pilgrims, irrespective of cast or religion or wealth are considered equal before Lord Ayyapa and all of them address each other as Ayyappa or Swamy (in the true spirit of the words Thatwamasi).

It is believed that the deity of the temple was consecrated by Lord Parasurama at the foot of Sabari hills, reference to this is said to have been made in Ramayana. The temple attracts pilgrims from the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and also from the other states and from the other countries. Another mythology says that Sabarimala is the place where Lord Ayyapa meditated and became one with Lord Sastha soon after killing the powerful demon, Mahishi.

Rules & Regulations:-

 An Ayyappa pilgrim is called Ayyappa Swamy. One has to stick to a disciplined, austere life of abstinence for 41 days to proceed to the temple. Should be strictly vegetarian. No smoking. Wear a type of black cloth and a rudraksha mala. No hair cut. Go barefoot. A pilgrim carries an irumudikkettu, a cloth bag divided into two by a knot at the middle, that helps to balance the weight of pooja items he carries. They have to trek long distances in the hills.At the temple there are 18 vertical steps one has to climb for darshan of the idol. They are called Pathinettam Padi (Eighteen Step). Girls/women of 10-50 years are not allowed temple darshan.

King Rajasekara :-

The descendants of Pandya dynasty were living scattered in places like Valliyur, Tenkasi, Shengottah, Achankovil and Sivagiri and in parts of Travancore, where they were the ruling dynasty. The descendants of Pandya dynasty belonging to Chempazhanattu Kovil, living in Sivagiri were given the right to rule the country of Pandalam, by the King of Travancore eight hundreds years ago. King Rajasekara was the direct descendant of this dynasty. 

King Rajasekara was a very talented, courageous and just ruler in all his dealings. People were living happily and prosperously during his regime. However, the king was very unhappy that he had no children and his subjects were also worried that he had no heir to inherit his kingdom. As per the wish of the queen, both of them prayed to Lord Shiva for blessing them with a child.


Lord Shiva, answered Rajasekara's prayer and ordered Dharmasastha to take the avathar of Ayyappan . Ayyappan took the form of a baby with a golden chain and bell around his neck and placed himself near the Pamba river.

(Dharmasastha born to Lord Shiva and Lord Mahavishnu who was in the disguis of Mohini to get back the Amrutham from the asuras and restore to the devas.)

King Rajasekara who was returning after hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampa, along with his men, heard a child crying from somewhere in the forest. Surprised, he went round and reached the banks of River Pampa. There he saw a beautiful and divine child (i.e. Ayyappa) kicking its legs and crying out, and was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself.

While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Sanyasi (Yogi) appeared before him and told the King that he need not be afraid of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya dynasty capable of mitigating all sufferings. The Sanyasi further stated that since the Child had a gold bell around his neck, his name be called "MANIKANDAN" and when the child completed twelve years, the King would know his divine history. After uttering these words, the Sanyasi disappeared.

The King of Pandalam was very joyous; he took the child to his Palace and briefed the Queen about the incident. The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child, were very happy that they had been blessed with a child. The people also felt happy that a heir to inherit the Kingdom after the King, had been found.

The Diwan :-

However, the Diwan of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would be the next crown after Rajasekara was worried.

The Study period of Ayyappan :-

He was taught all martial arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power. After completing his education under the Guru, Manikandan approached the Guru to offer his Guru Dakshina.

When Manikandan went to his Guru for his blessings, the Guru told him that he already knew that he was a divine power and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan that he had one request to make and that was that his only son who was dumb should be given the ability to speak. Manikandan called the Guru's son and put his hands on his head and immediately thereafter the Guru's son began to speak. Manikandan requested the Guru not to reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.

Birth of RajaRajan:-

In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named RajaRajan.


King Rajasekara, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. He ordered the Diwan to make arrangements for the same.

The Diwan's plot:-

The Diwan started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food, but failed in all these. However, Manikandan's body bore an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiva disguising himself as a physician, treated Manikandan's injury and cured him.

Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the Diwan approached the Queen and told her that as she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen that since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress' milk should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the tigress' milk, the King's love for him would not be as before. The Queen, became a prey to the Diwan's plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.

The queen's sickness:-

The Queen, as told by the Diwan, cried out loudly that she was suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the King, believing this, called the Diwan to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought by the Diwan examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from a dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress' milk .The King sent several of his men to the forest for bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.

Manikandan's persistence :-

Manikandan asked the King to let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However, the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to the throne that he was also not of age and hence refused to let him go. Manikandan told the King, in spite of his refusal, he had to go lest he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the King to permit him to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted Manikandan to go to the forest.

The arrangements:-

King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however was refused by Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers.

King Rajasekara sent along with Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva, accompanied Manikandan to Forest.

Visiting Devaloka and destroying Mahishi:-

However, on his way Manikandan, came to know the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka, he went there and fought a battle with Mahishi. During the conflict, Manikandan threw Mahishi down to earth from devaloka and she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan clashed with her at Azhutha river again. At the end, of the battle between Mahishi and Manikandan at Azhutha River banks, Manikandan climbed up on her chest and danced violently. The impact of his dance was felt on the Earth and Devloka and the Devas were afraid. Mahishi knowing that the divine power dancing on her body was none other than the son of Hari and Haran, prostrated before Manikandan and died.

(Mahishi- blessed by Lord Brahma that nobody , except the son created out of the union of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. She wanted to take revenge upon the devas who killed her brother)

Malikapurathu Amma:-

This dance was witnessed by Lord Shiva and Mahavishnu from a place called Kalakatti. (It is said that Leela, daughter of Kavalan, a Maharishi, due to her husband's curse,was born as daughter of Karamban, with a face of Mahishi and freed herself from the curse and obtained Moksha by the grace of Shri Dharmasastha, which is described in Sabarimala Temple as Malikapurathu Amma, by which name she has a temple there).

Comfort to the King Rajasekara:-

After killing Mahishi, Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress milk, when Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him that though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one main task and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara who was very concerned about him. Lord Shiva further told him that he could go to the Palace with Lord Devendran in the form of a tiger. With Manikandan on the tiger, all female devas in the disguise of a tigress and male Devas, as tigers started their journey to the Palace.

When Manikandan, with the tigers, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him when he started his journey to forest if he wanted a toy tigresses etc , really got panic seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter shelter.

Revealing of Manikandan's identity:-

Just then, the same Sanyasi who appeared before King Rajasekara when he picked up Manikandan at the forest as a baby, appeared again at the palace and told King Rajasekara the real identity of Manikandan.

Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tiger and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King Rajasekara, fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queens ailment had been cured the moment Manikandan went to the forest. On that day Manikandan reached the age of twelve.

The Temple:-

King Rajasekara told Manikandan that the Diwan was responsible for all these things and hence he should be punished. However, Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the Diwan and all had happened only through the will of God, and he told further that time had come for him to go to Devaloka since the task for which he took avatar himself on the Earth is completed and asked the King what boon he wanted from him and he was ready to give it as he was much pleased by his devotion.

Immediately, King Rajasekara told him that they wanted to raise a temple in his memory and suggest a suitable place for the temple. Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called Sabari, where in Sri Rama's era a Sanyasini called Sabari observed Dhavam. Lord Manikandan told the King to build the temple in that place and then he disappeared.

Foundation stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine and the purpose

As per Saint Agasthya's advise, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine.

Bhagwan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer Dharshan after performing Vritha for fortyone days keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like Brahmacharya, thinking of good things always, and that while coming for his darshan, they shall carry the holy irumudi on their heads, as the Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and bathed in River Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs.

The completion of the temple:-

As graced by the Bhagwan King Rajasekara completed building of the temple with eighteen steps to reach it. When the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha's figure in the temple for darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala was a holy place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi, the day on which the Makara Jothi appears.

Every year lakhs and lakhs of people throng to Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed and adorn themselves with garlands and irumudis, chants slogans on Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy river Pampa, climb up the eighteen steps and get the grace of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.

Adorning the jewelleries on Ayyappan on the Makarasankranthi day

The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Panthalam to the Shrine on that day. A Garuda, the Brahaman kite, follows this ornaments carrying procession, hovering about in the sky. After these ornaments are worn on the Lord the bird circles the temple in the sky three times and disappears. Excited by this sight the devotees begin to chant "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa". A Star never seen before in the sky appears on the day of Makara Jothi day before the sighting of the Jyoti. A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swamy Ayyappan gracing his devotees.


Near the Patinettampadi is the shrine of the Muslim Vavurswami. While there are several accounts of identity of Vavur, it is generally believed that he was a warrior who was defeated and subdued by Ayyappa, and later became a close associate. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the Pandalam king to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumeli and a shrine at Sabarimalai.

The Vavur deity is believed to be as old as the original deity of Ayyappa himself, and records show that the shrine was renovated sometime in 1905. Here, the poojas are conducted by a Muslim priest. There is no distinguishable idol, but a carved stone slab that represents the deity. A green silken cloth is hung across one wall, and there is also an old sword. The special offering here is green pepper. Many devotees also bring a goat to offer to Vavurswami, mainly in the belief that pilgrims accompanied by a goat will reach the temple safely. These goats are later auctioned by the temple authorities.

pamba river:-

The divine child Manikandan resting on the sands of the pamba river.The devotees consider the holy river as the one that can help them attain MOKSHA or salvation.The river Pamba invokes the whole holiness of Sabarimala and Swami Ayyappan among the 44rivers in Kerala Pamba is a bit smaller than many others in depth and length.The pamba river is called as South Ganga.The fame and name of the river is attributed to the legends related to Ayyappas birth.Pamba river traces its source to chenthamara kokka which is between the virigin evergreen forest and slopes lying to the east of Sabarimala.The river flows from 18 hills bordering the garden of Lord Ayyappa Nurtures pamba to make it the third river in Kerala State.After Sannidhanam and erumeli many rituals filled with faith in Ayyappa are performed on the bankes of the River.Among them are Pamba Bali and Pamba Sadhya.Ponnambalamedu,believed to be the resting place of Swami Ayyappan and the origin of pamba river fall under periyar tiger reserve.The origin of pamba is the border of Pulinchimala,Sundaramala,Nagamala.The tributaries of river pamba are Peruthodu,Azhutha and Kariyilamthodu.They are fine place in the legend of Lord Ayyappa.Another major tributary which enrich pamba is kakkad river.There are two reservoirs have been built accross pamba and kakkad.This is the holy water in which people of South can wash their sins away.The most auspicious part of Pamba is the Triveni Sangamam which is the right of pamba bridge.Two branches of the river merge and this point is called Triveni Sangamam.Triveni offers salivations to fathers Lord Rama during his stay in the forest reach Triveni and believed to have paid darpan to his father.Due to this devotees take a dip at Triveni sangamam often balidarpan to their dead fathers for the rituals of the sandy banks of the river.Triveni area known for its rich herbal wealth and flora it may be due to its Purity and medicinal wealth that augments the health of the devotees.The river pamba run through three districts flowing for a distances of 176kms and merged into the Vembanad Lake.Aaranmula Paarthasarathi Temple,Thakazhi Dharmasastra Temple are the other pilgrimage center that dot the banks of Pamba. ChakkullathKavu Devi Temple is situvated at the branch of Pamba. 

Ayyapa Vrata:-

41 days’ harsh penance or ‘vratha’
Abstain from non vegetarian food
No alcohol
No smoking, tobacco
No sharing of bed with spouse, leave alone sex
No hair cut, shaving or any kind of facial make ups
Daily two bath, one in the early morning and one in the evening
Wearing only black or blue clothing
Avoid Chappals/foot wears (so as to practice walk barefoot for 5 km long difficult trekking to the temple later)
No film watching
Visiting nearby temples at least once in a day, if twice not possible
Give food and alms to neighbors and ‘Swamees’ (Ayyappa Devotees)
Wear a Mala ( a garland made of ‘Rudraksha’ or Tulsi beads) till the pilgrim is completed
Smearing ‘Vibhuti’ (Vermilion or ‘Bhasma’) or sandal paste on the forehead.
Use only good language; avoid quarrels and bad company
Avoid rice and rice-foods as far as possible at evening
No admission for women between the age of 10 and 50 (women in the menstrual age group strictly prohibited).

Too strict, too rigorous and too tough.

Are you ready to observe all these strict disciplinarian regimen at least for a few weeks? Then you are eligible for the pilgrimage to Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple in Kerala, South India. Your eligibility is still at stake (even after observance of all these stringent practices) unless you carry an ‘Irumudikettu’ on your head or shoulder. Without ‘irumudikettu’, you can reach up to the starting point of the holy 18 steps. But to climb the most sacred 18 steps, you need to carry the cloth bundle known as ‘Irumudikettu’, which carries the worship (pooja) materials such as coconut, ghee, flowers, camphor, etc.

Sacred Golden 18 Steps:-

The Ayyappa Temple contains the 18 Golden Steps,Those are Built on a plateau about 40 feet high,the Ayyappan temple commands a lofty view of the mountains and valleys al around. The ancient temple has been rebuilt after a fire in 1950, consisting of a sanctum sanctorum with a copper-plated roof and four golden finials at the top, two mandapams, the belikalpura which houses the altar,and the flag-staff. Replacing the earlier stone image of the deity is a beautiful idol of Ayyappa in panchaloha, an alloy of five metals, about one and a half feet.
First 5 steps signify the five indriyas or the senses(eyes,nose,ears,skin and tongue).
The 8 steps are the Raagas(tatwa,Kama,Krodha,moha,lobha,madha,mastraya and ahamkara).
The Next 3 the gunas(satwa,rajas and thamas)
Last Steps are followed by Vidya and Vaydya.

          An Ayyappa devotee crosses the Pathinettaam padi only twice during his sojourn on Sabarimala - for entering the temple and to go downhill. Before ascending or descending the steps, pilgrims break coconut as an offering to the steps. One needs to have the sacred Irumudi on head while going up or down the 18 steps and while descending the steps the devotees climb down backwards facing the sanctum sanctorum.

Makara Jyothi:-

The most important event at Sabarimala is the Makara Jyothi (usually on January 14th). Thiruvabharanam or the sacred jewels of the Lord (presented by the Pandalam king) arrives at Sabarimala in three boxes. On the arrival of the jewel boxes the whole mountain reverberates to the chanting of 'Saranam Ayyappa' by millions of devotees gathered there to watch the event.

The Thiruvabharanam box - still the private property of the Pandalam royal family, starts its journey two days before Makara Jyothi day from Pandalam. The person who carries the box dances in a peculiar trance. Thiruvabharanam travels through Valiakoikkal Sastha temple at Pandalam, Ayiroor Puthia Kavu Temple, Perunattil temple, Vlakkai, Nilaikkal Siva temple, Vellachimala, Pamba and Sabari Peedam before reaching at Sannidhanam around 6.00 PM on the Makara Jyothi day. Every year a Garuda hovers and flies above the Thiruvabharanam boxes as if to guard them.

On reaching the Sannidhanam the Melshanthi and Thandhri receive the sacred jewels amidst the thundering echoes of Sarana ghosham.

The Thiruvabharanam box contains a diamond crown, golden bracelets, necklaces and a sword. The priests adorn the Lord with these and perform arathi.

At the same moment a brilliant light of amazing magnificence appears in the northeastern side to the temple at the opposite mountain in a place called Kantamala (the home of devas and rishis). It is believed that this brilliant flame of light is the arathi performed by the rishis and the devas. This event marks the culmination of the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.

Makara Vilakku festival:-

After the jyothi, that night Malikappurathuamma, mounted on an elephant comes in a procession to the Patinettampadi (18 steps ) and returns back to her abode. This is the beginning of the Makara Vilakku festival. This festival lasts for seven days. Many pilgrims stay back till this festival is over and Kuruthi pooja (offering of water mixed with chunnambu and turmeric powder to the forest deities) is performed.

Even some who leave Sabarimala after witnessing the Jothi observe fasting till the Makara Villaku and Kuruthi pooja is complete at Sabarimala.

Other festivals :-

Onam, Mandalapooja, Pankuni Uthram (Lord’s Birthday) and Vishu are the other festivals celebrated at Sabarimala with pomp and glory.


The prasadam at Sabarimala temple is Aravana payasam and Appam. These are prepared by using rice, ghee, sugar etc. The rice needed to prepare prasadam at Sabarimala is supplied by Chettikulangara Devi Temple, the second largest temple under Travancore devaswom board situated at Mavelikkara. The Chief Commissioner, Travancore Devaswom Board said that the board has appointed Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore as a consultant for providing technical guidance to ensure the quality of Aravana, Appam, and other prasadom preparations at Sabarimala.

Other Temples in Sabarimala:-

Kannimula Ganapathi Kovil:-

Lord Ganapathi sits south-west of the main temple; the Ganapathi idol at Sabarimala is commonly referred to as Kannimula Ganapathi. And one of the special offerings to this deity is 'Ganapathi homam.'


In the bygone days, a large homakundam or a sacred pit burned constantly in front of the Sannidhanam. The flames were fed by the coconuts/neithenga thrown in by pilgrims, after offering the ghee within them to Lord Ayyappan. It is held that as the coconuts burn in the sacrificial fire, the pilgrims undergo a ritualistic cleansing, both of the spirit and the body. Owing to the deluge of devotees each year, the Homakundam has been moved to a spot beneath the temple.


The shrine of Malikappurathama is about 100 metres away from the Sannidhanam. Bhasmakkulam/ Ash tank is situated between these two holy spots. Pilgrims braving the arduous trip to Sabarimala take a tip in the sacred waters of this tank for spiritual purification and also in memory of Tapaswini Sabari who entered a pyre to end her mortal life. Sabarimala is named after her. Bhasmakkulam is repeatedly drained and filled with fresh water, on account of the millions who bathe in it.


This small temple on a hillock houses the shrines of Devi (Malanada Bhagavathi) and Kaduthaswamy in addition to a trident and a lamp. Devotees offer special pujas and coconuts which contrary to common practice, are not broken, but just rolled onto the ground. The door of the shrine always remains closed and other offerings presented include betel leaves, turmeric powder, silk cloth, saffron and money. Kanikka, gun shots and lighted lamps are th he offered by the worshipper to propitiate Malanada Bhagavathi.

The shrines of Nagaraja (the king of snakes) and Nagayakshi (Snake goddess) are on the right side of the temple of Malikappurathamma. Special pujas involving sarppa paattu are offered here to appease the snakes and protect devotees from the harmful effects of snakebites.

Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy:-

Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy stand at the bottom of the Pathinettampadi (18 steps) and are the guardians of the Sannidhanam. They are dwarapalakas, ensuring that the holy steps are not polluted by pilgrims who do not undergo the rigors of the 41-day abstinence and celibacy. Also they safeguard the pious from the dark spirits of the surrounding forests.

It is held that Kadutha was a valiant warrior who helped Pandalamraja (Lord Ayyappa an's foster father) beat his archenemy Udayanan. Soon afterwards, Kadutha accompanied the Raja to Sabarimala to reconstruct the Ayyappa temple and eventually grew so attached to the Lord that he spent his remaining days in the temple and the adjoining woods.

Adjacent to the Pathinettupadi is the shrine of Vavurswami, who is believed to have been a close associate of Lord Ayyappan. Vavur was a Muslim and several versions of his association with Ayyappan persist. Originally a warrior, Vavur was defeated and subdued by Ayyappan; later he became of one of the closest confidants of the Lord. It is widely believed that Ayyappan himself instructed Pandalamraja to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumeli and a shrine at Sabarimala.

List of Festival/Pujas Performed :-

Sri Chithira Atta Thirunal
Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam
Mandala Pooja
Makaravilakku Festival
Monthly Pooja (Kumbham)
Monthly Pooja (Meenam)
Painguni Utsavam
Meda Vishu Festival
Meda Vishu Darshanam
Monthly Pooja (Edavam)
Prathishta Dinam
Monthly Pooja (Mithunam)
Monthly Pooja (Karkitakom)
Monthly Pooja (Chingam)
Monthly Pooja (Kanni)
Monthly Pooja (Thulam)

List Of Daily Rituals & Timings At Sabarimala:-
Nirmalyadarshanam3.05 a.m.
Neyyabhishekham3.15 a.m.
Ganapathy homam3.20 a.m.
Usha pooja7.30 a.m.
Nada Closing1.30 p.m.
Nada Opening4.00 p.m.
Deeparadhana6.15 p.m.
Athazha pooja11.00 p.m.
Harivarasanam11.45 p.m.

Please Note: Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple is open only during certain specific periods in a year. The temple usually opens at 04.00am and closes at 11.00pm. During the peak seasons like Makaravilakku Mahotsavam, the timings might altered to accommodate the large number of devotees.

How to Reach:-

By Rail :-

Chengannur (82 km) and Kottayam (120 km)

By Road:-

KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) operates adequate services from every major town of Kerala and neighboring states.

By Air:-

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (170 km) and Nedumbassery (Kochi) International Airport (160 km).


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  3. Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: Gaṇēśa Chaturthī), also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi(Vināyaka Chaturthī), is the Hindu festival that reveres god Ganesha. A ten-day festival, it starts on the fourth day of Hindu luni-solar calendar month Bhadrapada, which typically falls in Gregorian months of August or September.

    Vinayaka Chavithi Telugu Images Wishes

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