Sabarimala - Great Holy place of South India
Sabarimala Ayyappan Sannidhanam (temple) is one of the most honored Hindu worship place in India. The famous Temple located in God's own country 'Kerala'.
Dharma Sastha/Lord Ayyappan is the presiding deity in Sabarimala Temple. He is one of the most respected deities among the Hindu Gods.
Every year, irrespective of caste creeds or religion, millions of devotees assembling in this temple. They just want to have a glimpse (darshan) at Lord Ayyappan
This Sabarimala Temple in Pathinamthitta District surrounded by tropical forest and 18 hills. This dense forest is part of Western Ghat Mountain Ranges and the safe home for several dangerous wildlife species.
A pilgrimage through this dense forest to the Sabarimala Temple is giving a great experience.
Ayyappan Temple Sabarimala
Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple
As per Hindu mythology, Temple at Sabarimala, built by saint warrior Parasurama. He naturalized the Land of Kerala from the sea.
Enclosed by dense tropical forest and hills, the Temple situated at 1260m above sea level. Pamba is the main base camp on the way to Sabarimala Temple.
From Pamba river one can trek 5 km to reach the Temple. East of the Temple is 'Vavarnada' which honors 'Vavar', a Muslim associate of Lord Ayyappan.
Sabarimala is one of the five 'Panchashastha' Temples. The Temples built by the great Yogi to protect Kerala from negative elements.
The others being Kulathuppuzha, Aryankavu, Achankovil and Erumeli. At Sabarimala Lord Ayyappan is a Brahmachari in a state of everlasting glory or Samadhi, showing Chinmudra.
As per myth, the lord sought this lonely place to meditate soon after defeating the demon, Mahishi in a brutal battle. This Temple is open to devotees only during Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku (November to January). And Vishu (First day of every month in the Malayalam calendar).
There are so many widespread stories related with Lord Ayyappan among the devotees. The stories differ, but there are several common elements in those stories.
The well-liked and accepted story tells that Lord Ayyappan had his human stopover as the son of the King Rajasekara of Pandalam. During one of his hunting trips, the King confused to hear the cry of a baby on the banks of the Pamba river.
He surprised to find a sparkling baby boy there. Though the King had no children, he accepted the baby as God's benefaction, response to his ardent prayer for an heir to his throne.
Baby Ayyappa grew into a boy well competent in educational lore and martial arts and he cherished the King and his citizens. He was a super-human with divine knowledge and courage.
He sheltered the King and the kingdom from the confrontation of enemies. Finally he disappeared into the woods and since that time worshiped in this temple at Sabarimala.
Book on Ayyappan
A well known sacred place in south India. The Ayyappan temple is situated on the eastern side of of Kerela on a mountain named Sabarimala. An extremely old temple with Sastha as the leading god is there located at Sabarimala.
A devotee visiting the Sabarimala at the time of Mandalapooja must observe special austerities. It starts 41 days before his pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
The pilgrim should withdraw from non- vegetarian food intake. He should not give way to sexual desires and must wear the special Rudraksha mala.
These austerities start from the first day of Virichigam (Malayalam month). After this ritual, the pilgrims called as Ayyappan until their conclusion of the pilgrimage.
During the period of austerities, devotees expected to go through specific practices. With simple living, and complete cleanliness.
Total self-discipline needed for devotees, away from all habits like drinking, cigarette and non-vegetarian meals.
The devotee is likely to wear color clothes. They must pray daily in the mornings and evenings after a bath. The prayer ritual carried out by going to any temple or in one's own Pooja room.
The austerities continues till the devotee returns from his pilgrimage. And take off his `mala' and break a coconut and offering prayers.
Sabarimala Pooja Song - Vid
lrumudi is the only carrying bag which a devotee carries on his head during the religious journey. Those who observe austerities for 41 days only allowed to carry sacred Irumudi.
Without the Irumudi no one is permitted to enter into the Sannidhanam through the holy 18 steps at the Sabarimala. This bag is in two compartments - (the front part and the back part with an opening at center).
The front compartment is for keeping all the Pooja articles and offerings to Ayyappan. While the rear compartment is to keep the pilgrims personal requirements for the journey.
An important ritual conducted in the temple. Spilling sacred ghee carried by devotees in their Irumudi on the Lord Ayyappan's Idol.
Please Note: Women of certain age group (above 14 years and below 50 years) are strictly not allowed in this Temple.
The Pettai Thullal
At Erumeli, pilgrims are performing a traditional ritual called Pettai Thullal. (Pettai means area and Thullal means Dance).
Pilgrims cover up themselves like ethnic groups, with leaves tied on their head applying color patches all over body. Dummy weapons like Swords, Bows etc, carried on their shoulders.
They also hire music groups like Thavil or Chenda Melam and Nadhaswaram with them. They chant "Swami Thinthakkathom - Ayyappa Thinthakkathom".
Apart from this they dance along the way for about half a kilometer.
Pettai Thullal -Vid
Sabarimalai Temple is one of the largest pilgrimage center in the whole world around 40 million people gather every year. Ref: List of largest peaceful gatherings in history
Crowd of Pilgrims
For Further Read
- Sabarimala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sabarimala is linked to Hindu pilgrimage, predominantly for men of all ages.You can identify a Sabarimala pilgrim easily as they wear black or blue dress.
- Ayyappan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ayyappan is a Hindu deity who is believed to be the son of Harihara, a rigvedic deity fused with both Shiva and Vishnu.
- Makaravilakku - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Makaravilakku is an annual festival held on 14 January in Kerala, India at the shrine of Sabarimala.