Sabarimala Ayyappa Darshan Yatra

The 18 steps to the Divine

Inherent in everyone, present in everything and existent everywhere is the Supreme. It is this belief that He is dwelling within all of us, the yatra to the hill shrine of Sabarimala upholds. Amid the eighteen hills, surrounded by wilderness, with the flowing waters of Pampa below, the eighteen holy steps lead to the sanctum of Lord Ayyappa. The customs of this famous shrine entwines the rituals of Shaivites, Vaishnavites as well as influences from Buddhism and Jainism. The temple is the epitome of communal harmony by allowing people of all faith enter the temple. The pilgrimage can follow three routes with the most traditional and difficult one starting at Erumely. Strict 'vratham' or austerities should be performed before the visit to the shrine. The darshan of Lord Ayyappa is complete only with the visit to the shrine of Vavar Swamy and the shrine of Maliapurathamma.

Legend

The legend of Sabarimala revolves around the royal family of Panadalam. The adopted prince Manikandan was sent to the forest to get the milk of tigress by the conspiracy of the Diwan and Queen who were displeased at him being chosen as the heir.  On the way to the forest, Manikandan fulfilled the task of his incarnation when he fought a and and killed Mahishi, who had unleashed atrocities against the Devas. The Devas then helped Manikandan and he returned with a bunch of tigers with the Prince riding a female tigress. The King who came to know of the conspiracy fell on Manikandan's feet asking forgiveness but couldn't persuade Manikandan to stay back. Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at Sabari, where the King then built the sanctum dedicated to Ayyappa. The temple remained obscure for many centuries subsequent to its erection. It is believed that one of the Kings during the later generation rediscovered the paths to the shrine. Over the years the flow of devotees who reach the temple after strict vows and hard treks has turned the temple to one of the most visited annual pilgrimage in the country.

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Deity - Temples

Deity :- Lord Ayyappa

Temples Covered :-

Swamy Sree Ayyappan Temple
Pampa Ganapathy Temple
Malikapurathamma Shrine
Vavar swamy shrine

Most packages also cover various other temples en route, as the rules of the pilgrimage specifies the devotees to visit as many shrines as they can before the darshan of Ayyappa.

Purpose

The purpose of of visiting the Sabarimala temple, is along with the darshan of the Lord to understand the relationship between self and the God, to understand the power within. The 41 day vratham instills the sense of discipline and purifies the body, mind and soul. Bathing in Pampa is believed to cleanse all the sins.

Who can go?

All men, irrespective of religion can visit the shrine.
Women between the ages of 12 and 50 are not allowed beyond Pampa.

Yatra Preparations

There are strict rituals that have to be followed before visiting Sabarimala shrine. The devotee should first take permission from the elders in his family, the family deity and his gurus before taking the vow to visit Lord Ayyappa. Once a vow is taken the pilgrims have to wear a holy string of beads. He must abstain from non vegetarian food, alcohol, smoking, using luxury pleasures and take a vow of celibacy for the 41 days of the 'Mandala Vratham'.The pilgrims should wear only black or saffron coloured attire. 
Before undertaking the journey, he should prepare the 'irumudikettu' at the nearest temple. This kit should be carried on the head as the trek to the temple is done.


Travel Support

If you are interested in visiting  please mail us :- travel@pilgrimaide.com or call us directly on Mobile :- +919619899406 or Land Phone :- +91 22 28470990. Our team will be more than happy to assist and take care of your complete itinerary end-to-end in a personalized and professional manner.

Pooja Samagri

The accessibility to good quality pooja articles in today's adulterated world as well as availability of all the items required is a major concern for many devotees. Please check out our P-STORE page for various high quality Pooja Samagri for your Pilgrimage or mail us :- info@pilgrimaide.com or call us directly on Mobile :- +919619899406 or Land Phone :- +91 22 28470990.


Area Covered

Kerala
Language spoken :- Malayalam

Auspicious Days

Mandalapuja, the last day of the Mandalavratham, is celebrated with many festivities.
However, Makaravilakku in January is the most important festival occasion of the temple with lakhs of devotees thronging to get the glimpse of the Lord as well as the famed 'Makara jyoti'.

Any contact numbers?

Police helpline numbers at Sabarimala :- +91 4735202016, +91 9847000100

Best time to Travel

The temple is open for worship only during the days of Mandalapooja (Nov/Dev), Makaravilakku (January) , Vishu (14 April), and the first five days of each Malayalam month.

Duration

The journey can be completed in 2-4 days from Kochi.

Travel Method

The Pamba base camp can be reached by road from nearby railway station  and airports. From there, devotees have to trek around 5kms on foot to reach the shrine. Dollies are available for those who have difficulty climbing. Alternatively, there is a route of around 60kms trek through forests and hills that starts from Erumely.

Crowd Expected

The temples is estimated to receive more than a 100 million devotees every year.
Heavy crowds can be expected on days of Mandalapuja and Makaravilakku.

Festivals

Mandalapuja, the last day of the Mandalavratham, is celebrated with many festivities.
However, Makaravilakku in January is the most important festival of the temple with lakhs of devotees thronging to get the glimpse of the Lord as well as the famed 'Makara jyoti'.

Must Haves

The devotees are advised to wear black, saffron or dark coloured clothing.
Footwear should not be used while going to the shrine.
The 'irumudikettu' which is a kit with offerings to the Lord should be carried on the head. Without this kit, devotees will not be allowed to climb the 18 steps. The rear part of the irumudi contains the pilgrims personal belongings.
Please take any special medication that you might need during the journey.
Also carry photo-id along while going to the shrine

Health Awarness

The Sannidhanam has basic medical facilities. But devotees are advised to carry any special medications that they might need and first aid kit along with them.

Additional Info

There are three routes which cane be followed to reach the Sannidhanam. The traditional route from Erumely, believed to have been the path taken by Ayyappa when he went to the forest, is the toughest and consists of 61kms through forests and hills. The other two routes are easier and involves trek from the base Pampa camp.

Climate

The climate during the months of November, December and January are pleasant with the temperatures around high twenties though it can get a bit chilly in the night. The summers are hot and dry. Monsoon season is during the months of June to August

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