Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa

Famous Temples In Kerala

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa temple is located in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. This temple is also known as Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple dedicated to lord Ayyaya. Every year around 4 million pilgrims from India and abroad come to seek the blessings of lord Ayyappa.

Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and best known pilgrimage destination in Kerala. The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January that is Mandala pooja (December) and Makaravilakku(January) are the two main events of the pilgrim season. On the day of Makaravilakku - a Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Panthalam to the temple 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 . A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swamy Ayyappan gracing his devotee. 

The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu (April). Anyone who wishes to go to Sabarimala, has to follow some strict customs like fasting for 41 days , restricting himself from non-vegetarian food and carnal pleasures.

The temple is open to males of all age groups , Old Women and small children. Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader, and each carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi kettu containing traditional offerings. Pamba is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. From here one has to trek 4 to 5kms to reach the temple.

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