Sabarimala Temple

Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. It is believed that Parasurama Maharshi who uplifted Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa. The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad.

The unique feature of the Temple is that it opens to people of all faiths and many non-hindus conduct pilgrimages to this temple. The secular aspect of the temple is best exemplified by the existence of the "Vavar Nada" in honour of a Muslim saint at the close proximity to the main temple (Ayyappa Swami Temple) at Sabarimala by the side of Holy Pathinettampady. The pilgrims worship in this place also.

The pilgrims on their sojourn to Sabarimala worship at Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha Temple and conduct "Petta Thullal". They also worship in the mosque at Erumeli as a part of their pilgrimage. Ayyappa cult gives much importance for the secularism and communal harmony and has turn out to be a model for the whole world. Another significant aspect of the pilgrimage is that all the pilgrims whether rich or poor, learned or illiterate holding position or not master or servant are all equal before LORD AYYAPPA and all address each other as AYYAPPA.

More Details of Sabarimala Temple

Sree Dharmasastha Temple at Sabarimala is situated within the Reserve Forest area in Perinad village at Ranni Taluk in Pathanamthitta District in Kerala.The temple is located in a valley surrounded by dense Forest Hills on all sides.

Sabarimala (0929 North 7706 East) is situated in the midst of 18 hills, in a bowl of land blessed with a small rivulet named `Urakuzhi Theertham'. The area is in the hilly regions east of Kerala bordering Tamilnadu. Elevation above mean sea level is approximately 1260 Metres/4135 Ft. Temples existed in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. While functional (and intact temples) exist at many places in surrounding areas like Nilackal, Kalaketi, Inchiparakotta and Karimala, remnants of old temples are visible in the remaining hills.

From the international airport of Thiruvanathapuram (erstwhile Trivandrum), Sabarimala is located at 010 degrees/115 Kms. Similarly, from the international airport at Kochi (erstwhile Cochin) it is located at 118 degrees/106 Kms. These distances are `direct air distances or distances `as the crow flies'.

Normally the steps leading to a temple are forgotten the moment one steps on to the holy premises, but not in the case of the pathinettampadi. The significance of the sathyamam ponnu pathinettampadi is next only to the idol of Lord Ayyappa. In fact, only those devotees carrying an irumudi are allowed to enter the temple premises through the pathinettampadi. Droplets of ectasy trickles into one's mind at the very sight of the 18 golden steps. The devotee, after the hazardous 6-km trek on the forest road from Pamba, breaks a coconut carried in the irumudi before stepping on to the pathinettampadi.

Till a few years ago, pilgrims used to break the coconut on the step corresponding to the number of the pilgrimages undertaken. However, after the pathinettampadi was coated with panchaloha, they aren't permitted to do so and instead have to break the coconut on a stone at the foot of the steps.

Pampa is the most important and holy spot on the way to Sannidhanam. It is here Lord Ayyappa was found by King Rajasekara. The Pampa river is as holy as the Ganges. The Pampa water purifies one from curse and evil.

Pampa Feast

Pampa Annadhanam (feast) and Pampa Vilakku are important rituals followed at the Pampa bank. Pilgrim groups prepare feast with the provisions taken from the Irumudi of the pilgrims. Thousands of pilgrims are fed at Pampa. When a group of pilgrims are ready to fed the fellow pilgrims they display a large papad outside their cottage. It is usually the kanniswamy who are fed first, as they are considered to be Lord Ayyappan himself. After the feast the Guru is honoured by pilgrims prostrating him and offering him the Gurudakshina.

Kanni Ayyappas move from kitchen to kitchen collecting the ashes which are considered to be very sacred. It is done with the belief that Lord Ayyappa would have had the feast in one of the cottages in the disguise of a pilgrim. The ash is taken home as prasad.

Pampa Vilakku

On sunset pilgrim believe that Lord Ayyappan will be present at the banks of Pampa and the cottages are decorated with lights and candles. Small floats are decorated with lights called Pampa Vilakku are let in the Pampa river.

The next morning after a dip in the cold Pampa river and performing pitru tarpanam (offering to ones departed soul) the pilgrims start their ascent towards the hill Neelimala after worshipping at the temple of Lord Ganapathi, Lord Rama (avathar of Balaji) and Lord Hanuman. On the foot of the Neeli hill is the representative of the King of Pandalam. The pilgrims offer their respects to the representative. After seeking the permission of the representative to visit the shrine of Lord Ayyappa they proceed with their journey. From here the Sannidhanam is about 6 km. The neeli hill is as difficult as the Azhutha and Karimala. The top of Neeli hill is called Appachi medu. Here there are two abysses - Appachi kuzhi and Ippachi kuzhi. Kanniswamy throw rice balls here to calm down the evil spirits present around the place. From this point the ground is almost even. Some distance from here is the Sabari peetam.

Sabarimala Temple for the year 2016 - 2017 - 2018

Month Pooja Opening Date Closing Date
November 2016 Mandala Pooja Maholsavam 15/11/2016 26/12/2016
Madala Pooja 26/12/2016
December 2016 Thirunada opens for Makaravilakku 30/12/2016 20/01/2017
January 2017 Makaravilakku Day 14/01/2017
February 2017 Monthly Pooja – Kumbham 12/02/2017 17/02/2017
March 2017 Monthly Pooja – Meenam 14/03/2017 19/03/2017
Sabarimala Utsavam 30/03/2017 09/04/2017
Kodiyettu 31/03/2017
April 2017 Panguni Uthiram (Ayyappan Nakshatra Birth Date) & Arattu 09/04/2017
Meda Vishu Festival 10/04/2017 18/04/2017
Vishu 14/04/2017
May 2017 Monthly Pooja – Edavam 14/05/2017 19/05/2017
June 2017 Idol Installation Pooja 03/06/2017 04/06/2017
Monthly Pooja – Midhunam 14/06/2017 19/06/2017
July 2017 Monthly Pooja – Karkkidakam 16/07/2017 21/07/2017
August 2017 Monthly Pooja – Chingam 16/08/2017 21/08/2017
September 2017 Onam Pooja 02/09/2017 06/09/2017
Onam Day 04/09/2017
Monthly Pooja – Kanni 16/09/2017 21/09/2017
October 2017 Monthly Pooja – Thulam 16/10/2017 21/10/2017
Sree Chithra Atta Thirunal 18/10/2017 19/10/2017
November 2017 Mandala Pooja Maholsavam 15/11/2017 26/12/2017
December 2017 Madala Pooja 26/12/2017
Thirunada Re-opens for Makaravilakku 30/12/2017
January 2018 Makaravilakku Day 14/01/2018
Please Note:

Sabarimala temple usually opens at 04.00am and closes at 11.00pm. During the peak seasons like Makara Vilakku Mahotsavam, the timings might altered to accommodate the large number of devotees.

lrumudi is the only travelling kit which a pilgrim carries on his head during the pilgrimage. Only those who observe fasting for 41 days are allowed to carry it. Without the Irumudi one is not allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.

This bag is in two compartments - the Munmudi (the front part) and the Pinmudi (the back part) & the opening at centre. The front portion is reserved for keeping all the puja articles and offerings to the deity while the rear part is meant to hold the pilgrims personal requirements for the journey.


Front portion contains Mudra bags, consisting of 2 - 3 in numbers - one for the Ghee Coconut and the other two for the remaining offerings. Items for Vazhipadu (offering) at the Sannidhanam that is kept in the front compartment of the Irumudi are as follows

Contact   :  Mr. C.S .BALAGOPAL
Email-Id :piligirm@keralatourmart.com
Phone     : +91 9446 0129 77