Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple |

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple | Kerala, Pathanamthitta

Amidst eighteen hills, above the flowing waters of Pampa, surrounded by the wilderness of dense forests is the Sabarimala Swamy Ayyappa temple, one of the foremost pilgrimage destinations in the country. The customs of this famous shrine entwines the rituals of Shaivites, Vaishnavites, Shaktists as well as influences from Buddhism and Jainism. The temple traces its history back to the Pandalam royal family. 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. In 1821 AD, the temple was added to Travancore along with the Kingdom of Padalam. The temple underwent major reconstruction in 1971


The legend of Sabarimala revolves around the royal family of Panadalam where the ruling King with the blessing of Lord Shiva, adopted the baby boy found on the banks of Pamba. Over the years impressed with extraordinary talents of Manikandan, the Kings decides to make him the heir, much to the displeasure Diwan. The Diwan turned the Queen against Manikandan asking her to favour her biological son as the heir. As per the Diwan's instructions, the ...View more


The climb through the hills take the devotees to the main temple, the Sannidhanam constructed on top of a raised platform. 18 holy golden steps , the 'pathinattupadikal' leads to the top which enshrines the sanctorium. The shrine has a gold plated sanctum roof, the golden kodimaram and two mandapams. The idol of Ayyappan is made of Panchaloha, the amalgamation of five metals. Two other temples are located in the vicinity, one dedicated to Lord Ga...View more

Darsan Info

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple timings 4.00 AM to 1.30 PM and 4.00 PM to 11.00 PM

Women aged between 12 and 50 are not allowed beyond Pampa. Women need to carry age proof to prove eligibility. Devotees must also visit the shrine of Vavar swamy and Malikapurathamma. The pilgrims are expected to follow Vratham (41 day fasting ritual) prior to the pilgrimage. 

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Location and Contact

Pampa, Pathanamthitta, Kerala 689622
+91 4712316963 (Travancore devaswom board)

Devotees can reach Sabarimala-
By rail : Those coming by train can alight at Changannur, Thiruvalla or Kottayam. From the station, buses operate to and from the base camp of the shrine.                                                                                             
By air : Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are the nearest airports. Pilgrims will have to travel by road from the airports to the temple. Special shuttles operate to the temple during the Mandalam period.                                                                                                                                               
By road : Buses, state as well as private operate between from all the major towns of Kerala as well as from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc.                                                                                            
From the base camp, the pilgrims have to trek on foot to reach the shrine.

Darsan Dresscode

Pilgrims usually wear black/dark clothes during the journey to the temple. One can wear traditional ethnic wear as well as pant and shirt while trekking on the Sabrimala hills. They have to take the 'irumudikettu', the kit carried by the devotees on their head.


Sabarimala is one of the world's largest annual pilgrimages and hence witnesses a large flow of devotees. The place reverberates with the chants of prayers and 'Saranam' as the devotees make their climb to the shrine. The temple also boasts of propagating secularism, with the temple open for people of all religions. Sabarimala is a plastic free zone and devotees should help uphold the sanctity and cleanliness of the place.

Language Spoken:Malayalam ,English

Additional Info

  1. There are pilgrim complexes and pilgrim shed near the Sabarimala temple for overnight accommodation
    Sabari Guest House +91 4735202056
    Forest IB Sabarimala +91 4735202074 / 75
    Forest Dormitory +91 4735202074 / 75
    The Accommodation Officer +91 4735202049
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. Yes

Temple Rituals

The priests of Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple conduct regular rituals like Usha Puja, Ucha Puja, Padi Puja etc.
The Harivarasanam song is sung before closing of the temple everyday.
Devotees break the coconut they bring in the stone adjacent to the 18 steps.

Regular Offerings

Flowers, coconut, betel leaves, camphor, ghee, abhishekam are the common offerings made to Shree Dharmashasta.

Special rituals

There are special pujas on the opening and closing days of the shrine.
Special pujas and rituals are also observed on Makara Sankranthi.
First timers to the Sabarimala Temple should insert an arrow at the Saramkuthi on the trek route.

famous Festivals

January - Makaravilakku
April - Vishu
November - Beginning of the pilgrimage season/mandalam month
December - Mandalapuja

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