About Sabarimala Sree Swamy Ayyappa Temple
Sri Sabarimala Sree Swamy Ayyappa temple situated in the Western Ghats Mountains at an elevation of 4135 feet above sea level is the most famous and prominent among all the Shastha temples.
According to the legend, Maharshi Parashuram who retrieved Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala.
Story of Sabarimala:
King Rajasekara, the descendant of Pandya dynasty ruled the region of Pandalam. He was an able ruler and the people were living happily in his regime. But the king had no children and was unhappy. He and his wife prayed lord Shiva. Dharmasastha born to Lord Shiva and Lord Mahavishnu in disguise of Mohini was ordered to take the form of a baby by Lord Shiva.
King Rajasekara while returning from hunting traces the divine baby on the banks of River Pampa. When the king was in a dilemma, a sage appears and tells him to take care of the child. He also told the king that as the baby has the gold bell around its neck, its name to be called Manikandan and when it completes 12 years, the king will now the divine history of the baby.
The king was very happy and takes the child to palace where even the queen and the people of the kingdom felt very happy. But the Diwan who was planning to become the next heir after the king was worried. Manikandan grows and learns all martial arts and sastras in great brilliance, agility and extraordinary talents. He blesses his guru’s dumb son with the power of speech as Guru Dakshina. In the meanwhile, the queen gave birth to another child who was named RajaRajan.
King Rajasekara, treating Manikandan as his eldest son decides to crown him and orders the Diwan to make arrangements for the same. He devises plan to kill Manikandan but fails. Then he approaches the queen and poisons her mind by telling that her son is the only heir to the thrown. He persuades the queen to pretend to be suffering from severe headache and stomach pain so that he would make the physician tell that only a tigress’ milk would cure the queen. On this context, Manikandan would be sent to the forest to fetch the tigress’ milk and would be killed in the forest by wild animals.
Then the queen pretends to be suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the king sends for physician. The physician brought by the Diwan examines and conveys that the queen is suffering from dangerous disease which can be cured only applying the tigress’s milk.
Manikandan asks the king to let him go to the forest to bring the milk. When the king refuses, Manikandan binds the king through his words and goes to the forest. King Rajasekara sends Manikandan along with necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva also accompanied Manikandan to Forest.
On his way Manikandan came to know about the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka, he went there and fought a battle with Mahishi and kills her. Later, he went to the forest to get tigress milk. Lord Shiva himself turns into tiger and many devas turn into tigers and tigresses and accompanies Manikandan.
In the palace, Manikandan’s divine identity was revealed and King Rajasekara fell at his feet and asked him to forgive for what has happened. Manikandan through his kindness forgives everyone. King wishes to build a temple for Manikandan and asks for a suitable place.
Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at the Sabari hill where the sanyasini Sabari of Rama’s era had her home. Manikandan told the king to build the temple in that place and disappeared. As per Saint Agasthya's advise, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine.
The pilgrimage of Sabarimala begins in the month of November and ends in January attracting pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad. The Mandalapooja and the Makaravilakku are the two main events of the pilgrim season.
The Jewel Casket of Ayyappan is carried on the head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Panthalam to the Shrine on that day. A Garuda, the Brahaman kite which follows this procession, hovering about in the sky will circle the temple three times and disappears once the ornaments are worn on the Lord. "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" is the chant heard during this pilgrimage.
On Makara sankranthi day, a Star never seen before in the sky appears before the sight of the Jyoti which can be seen for a little time on the hilltop. It is believed that through this Lord Ayyappan shows his presence gracing his devotees. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu.
Facts about Sabrimala:
Only males, menopaused females beyond 50 years of age and little girls below 10 years of age irrespective of religion or nationality are allowed to visit the temple. As Ayyappan is a Yogi, these restrictions are followed in the temple.
The male pilgrims are called 'Ayyappan' and the female pilgrims are called 'Malikappuram'.
The pilgrims are supposed to undergo 41 days of fast to cleanse the mind. They wear black or blue cloths and a garland of Rudraksha. Total abstinence from all vices like alcohol, tobacco, non-vegetarian food and sex is stipulated.
The devotees carry a bundle called Irumudi which is divided into two parts. The front portion contains the stocking of pooja articles such as coconuts filled with cow ghee, camphor, unboiled rice, plantain (kadali), aval (flattened rice), pori, sandal paste incense sticks, vibhuti (sacred ash), kumkum (vermilion), turmeric powder, jaggery, kalkkandom (candied sugar) etc.
The rear pouch of the Irumudi Kettu contains consumable edible items which are used by the pilgrim for his personal sustenance during the journey to Sabarimala and back.
The Advaita philosphy says that "you are part of the Universal Soul and thus you are God!" (Aham Bhramasmi) and due to this pilgrims call each other swami.
When to go:
Monthly poojas are held at Sabarimala temple throughout the year. See the Sabarimala Calendar below.
Sabarimala Calendar for '2008
30 December 2007 to 20 January 2008: Makaravilakku Festival
12 February to 17 February: Monthly (Kumbham) Pooja
11 March to 21 March: Monthly (Meenam) Pooja, Utsavam
12 March: Utsavam Kodiyettu
21 March: Utsavam Arattu
21 March: Painkuni Uthram
10 April to 18 April: Vishu Darsan
14 May to 19 May: Monthly (Edavam) Pooja
11 June to 12 June Idol Installation Day Pooja
14 June to 19 June: Monthly (Midhunum) Pooja
15 July to 20 July: Monthly (Chingam) Pooja
16 August to 21 August: Monthly (Chingam) Pooja
10 September to 14 September: Onam Pooja
16 September to 21 September: Monthly (Kanni) Pooja
16 October to 21 October: Monthly (Thulam) Pooja
21 October to 28 October: Sree Chithira Attathirunal
15 November to 26 December: Mandala Pooja Festival
26 December: Mandala Pooja
30 December: Makaravilakku Festival
Sabarimala Offerings Rate Chart: (in Rupees)
Padi Pooja: 30001
Udayasthamana Pooja: 20001
Ganapathi Homam: 61
Usha Pooja: 501
Nitya Pooja: 2501
Ucha Pooja: 2001
Utsav Bali: 5001
Vibhoothi Prasadam: 5
Sarkkara Payasam: 7
Sahsra Kalasam: 10001
Thankaangi Charthu: 6001
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Sabarimala STD Code: 04735
Police Station: 202014
Police Control room: 202016
Ernakulam (Junction): 0484-2371131
Ernakulam (Town): 0484-2390920
General Hospital, Pathanamthitta: 0468-2223675
District Hospital, Kozhencherry: 0468-2212255
Muthoot Hospital, Kozhencherry: 0468-2214000
Muthoot Hospital, Pathanamthitta: 0468-2324000
Pushpagiri Medical College Hospital, Thiruvalla: 0469-2700755
Medical College Hospital, Kottayam: 0481-2597310
KSRTC Bus Service:
Pamba to Thiruvananthapuram (via Kottarakkara): 6.40 AM
Pamba to Kottayam (via Erumely): 9.15 AM
Pamba to Ernakulam (via Pathanamthitta): 11.45 AM
Pamba to Thiruvananthapuram (Via Kottarakkara): 12.30 AM
Pamba to Thiruvananthapuram (Via Punallur): 2.15 AM
Pamba to Pathanamthitta: 5.45 AM
Pamba to Erumely: 6.00 PM
Anantha Bhavan, Near Anurag Theatre, Phone-0468-2321159
Arya Bhavan, Near KSRTC Bus Stand, Phone-0468-3294707, 2224707
Mannil Regency, Phone-0468-2320364
Aryas, Near KSRTC Bus Stand, Phone-0468-3250939
Cresent Tower, Petta Junction, Tel-04828-211564
Hotel Maharaja, Town, Tel-04828-210415
Sabari Homes, Kanjirappilly Road, Tel-04828-211448
Sabrimala Distance Chart:
Distance to Pampa from Thiruvanathapuram - 173 km (via Adoor, Kottarakkara)
Distance to Pampa from Pathanamthitta - 65 km
Distance to Pampa from Punalur - 102 km
Distance to Pampa from Pandalam - 80 km
Distance to Pampa from Erumeli - 53 km (via Plappally, Mukkoottuthara)
Distance to Pampa from Kottayam - 109 km (via Erumeli)
Distance to Pampa from Ernakulam - 182 km
Distance to Pampa from Kollam - 128 km
Distance to Pampa from Alappuzha - 130 km
How to reach Sabarimala:
By Air: Sabarimala is located at 175 km from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport and 200 km from the Kochi international airport
By Rail: Nearest railway stations to Sabarimala are Kottayam and Chengannur
The important routes to Sabarimala are
(1) Kottayam to Pampa (via Erumeli). Pamba to Sabarimala by foot. About 136 kmKottayam to Pampa (via Manimala). Pamba to Sabarimala by foot. About 116 km
(2) Erumeli to Sabarimala (via Kalaketty, Azhutha, Inchippara, Karimala, Pampa) - 45 km. From Pampa to Sabarimala by foot.
(3) Vandiperiyar Route route extends through Kottayam - Kumili road. Vandiperiyar to Mount Estate by vehicle. Then by walking to Sabarimala.
Note: Motor Vehicles cannot go beyond Pampa. The last five kilometres to the shrine can be reached by trekking or porter carried chairs. Fill the tanks of vehicle with fuel as there is limited Petrol stations. Also keep important spare parts, tyre and tool kit with you.
What is Harivarasanam?
Harivarasanam is recited before closing the temple door at night. The composition has 352 letters, 108 words in 32 lines.
Harivarasanam song was composed by Sri Kambakkudi Kulathur Srinivasa Iyer who used to recite the composition in front of Lord Ayyappa at the main temple after the Athazha Pooja.
What is Neyyabhishekam?
It symbolically means the merging of Jeevatma with the Paramatma. This significant ritual involves pouring sacred ghee brought by pilgrims in their Pallikattu (Irumudi) on the idol of Lord Ayyappa.
An Introduction to Hinduism
Known as “Santana Dharma” in
Sanskrit, the Hinduism is the world's oldest organized and
most profound religion. It is the everlasting religion which
was founded, exists and flourishes in India. It is not
founded by a single leader and does ...
The earliest literary creations were the Rig-Veda, the Sama
Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda. The Vedas had the
Mantras or the hymns, the Brahmanas or the ritual and the
ceremonies, the Aranyakas or the forest speculations and ...
The Upanisads being diverse in character and outlook
recognize the intuition rather than reason as a path to
ultimate truth. Even though there are supposed to be 108 or
more Upanishads, twelve of them are recognized as the
principal units. ...
The Epics of India
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doctrines were presented in the form of stories and
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a prominent place ...
The Bhagavad-Gita contains the essence of Indian teaching
about the duties of life as well as spiritual obligations.
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penance and worship. It is referred as the song of the
divine one, the ...
The Dharma Sastras
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treatises on ethical and social philosophy compiled to deal
systematically with the proper conduct of life and describe
social, ethical and religious obligations. The Sruti and the
Smriti are the two authoritative sources of Hinduism. Sruti
The Puranas being expressed in
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political and cultural life comprising an astonishingly
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preserving and sustaining the Universe. The four arms of the
lord signify his omnipresence and omnipotence. The two front
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Hindu God - Lord Shiva
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The Yoga School of Philosophy
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philosophy has its primary text as the Bhagavad Gita. It
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million years ...
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force causing the ...
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differs from other organized religions in many aspects. It
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is not controlled by a central institution or authority. ...
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worship him and get his grace. The temples are built for the
same purpose to focus the power of the lord in a consecrated
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excellent architectural evolution which took place within
the boundaries of strict models derived from religious
considerations. In Hindu tradition, the Temple architecture
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Mural PaintingsMural Paintings are the most common temple
paintings and its evolution in temples can be traced from
Ajanta to Kerala. Linked intrinsically with Indian painting
traditions, the Murals are the earliest evidences unearthed
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means circling the sacred object. It has deeper meaning in
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offer certain items to god. Based on the ability of the
devotee, many types of items are offered like
Basic norms to be followed in a temple
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place the divine relationship with the god can be easily
accomplished. It is the place reserved for religious and
spiritual activities. There are many elaborate measures
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About Sabarimala Sree Swamy
Ayyappa Temple Sri Sabarimala Sree Swamy Ayyappa temple
situated in the Western Ghats Mountains at an elevation of
4135 feet above sea level is the most famous and prominent
among all the Shastha temples. ...
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original temple built in 1737 at Victoria Terminus Station
in Bori ...
Temples of Orissa - Jagannath Temple
The Jagannath temple is situated in Puri, on the east coast
of India, in the state of Orissa. The main presiding deity
is Lord Krishna or Jagannath. It is an ancient shrine having
a wooden image. There are also wooden ...
Temples of Orissa - Konark Temple
The Konark temple is a colossal temple dedicated to the Sun
god. It is a magnificiant temple with extremely beautiful
sculptures reflecting the genius of the architects. The
combination of Konark with Bhubaneshwar and Puri is referred
as the golden ...
Temples of Rajasthan - Ambika Mata Temple
The Ambikamata Temple is
situated in Jagat about 58 km from Udaipur. It is called as
the Khajuraho of Rajasthan. Even though the temple is small
in size, it is quite detailed and dates back to the
Pratihara period. Durga, ...
Temples of Tamil Nadu - Chidambaram Temple
The Chidambaram temple located at 250 Km to the south of
Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It is the most well known saivite
temple with main deity as Nataraja enshrined in the
Chitsabha or the Hall of Consciousness in the Anand ...
Temples of Tamil Nadu - Madurai Meenakshi Temple
The Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple is one of the
greatest temples of Meenakshi in India. It is also known for
its sprawling landscape filled with sculptured halls,
pillars and lofty towers with lavish artwork in all forms.
Madurai is also ...
Temples of Tamil Nadu - Rameshwara Temple
The Rameshwara temple is one of the holiest shrines of India
having one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. It is a huge temple
situated in the island of Rameshwaram at about 160 km
southeast of Madurai which can be reached through ...
Temples of Tamil Nadu - Palani Temple
The Palani temple is situated in
the district of Madurai about 112 km from Madurai and 152 km
from Trichi. Lord Murugan called Thandayudapani is the
presiding deity of the temple. This temple is on the 450
feet high Palani ...
Major Temples of West Bengal
Temples of West Bengal -
Dakshineswar TempleThe Dakshineswar Kali Temple is located
alongside the Vivekananda Bridge north of Calcutta. It is
believed that Saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa achieved
spiritual vision in this place. This temple is dedicated to
goddess Kali. ...