Sabarimala - Swamiye Saranam
( information about Lord Ayyappa,
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The shrine of Sabrimala
dedicated to Lord Ayyappa who is believed to have been born from the union of
Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, and Lord Siva, the Destroyer. is one of the most
remote shrines in southern India and draws three to four million pilgrims each
year. Before beginning the multi-day walk through the mountain jungles to get to
Sabrimala, the pilgrims prepare themselves with 41 days of rigorous fasting,
celibacy, meditation and prayer.
The famous Ayyappa temple at
Sabarimala is thronged by multitudes for nearly two and a half
months every year. The devotees go for pilgrimage to Sabarimala
after a period of penance.Taking a holy dip in the sacred river
Pampa and having a darshan of Lord Ayyappa at the hill top
temple is the fulfillment of Life’s ambition for crores of
people. The temple is situated at a height of about 914 m.
above the sea level in the dense forest, forming a part of the
Periyar Tiger Reserve. It is located in Perinadu village of
Ranni taluk in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala.
Motor vehicles are allowed only up
to Pampa and there after the devotees have to climb the 4 km.
long steep stretch to reach the temple. Therefore, Pampa has
become a base station for the pilgrimage.
Sabarimala temple is at present
kept open for darsan during the first 5 days of every Malayalam
month and for about two and a half months every year during the
festival season covering the ‘Mandala Pooja’ and ‘Makara Vilakku’.
Festival season starts from the first of Malayalam month
‘Vrichikam’ (November) and ends on the first of ‘Makaram’
(January). In addition to this, the temple will open during
other popular festivals of Kerala like Onam and Vishu and also
for Atta Chithira, Nira puthari and Painkuni Uthram. Large
number of pilgrims visits the Sabarimala temple during the
Mandala Pooja and Makara Vilakku festival season. Devotees from
all over India and abroad, without any discrimination on caste,
creed and religion visits the temple. The only restriction is
for females aged between 10 and 50 years.
The unique feature of this shrine
is that it is a symbol of communal amity where in Lord Ayyappa
and Vavaru Swami a muslim warrior, who is believed to have been
the friend of Lord Ayyappa are both worshiped by all devotees.
The temple is a unique example of the secular face of our great
opens at 0400hrs and closes at 13.00 hrs and then opens
again at 16.00 hrs and closes at 2300 hrs during festival
season. During monthly poojas and other festive occasions,
temple opens at 0500 hrs, closes at 1300 hrs and then again
opens at 1600 hrs and closes at 2200 hrs.
during festival season.
during other occasions.
||0415 hrs to 1130
|0515 hrs to 1100
during festival season.
during other occasions.
Put contents of Irumudi
at the designated areas only.
Break coconuts only at
the allotted places. – either at the side of the
pathinettampadi or the Azhi.
Offerings to be made
only at the Mahakanikka and other Kanikka vanchies.
Pilgrims are not
allowed to climb Pathinettampadi without Irumudi.
Use Vadakkenada for
darshan without Irumudi.
Lighting of camphor to
be avoided while making darshan before Lord Ayyappa and
before Malikapuram Devi.
Females between the
ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to conduct pilgrimage
“Appam and Aravana” are the two major forms
of prasadam that can be purchased from Sabarimala. Devotees
are advised to purchase Prasadam only from the counters of
the Temple and to refrain from engaging agents or touts
for this purpose.
Devotees can purchase Appam
and Aravana from the counters situated on the Southern side
of Lower Thirumuttam at Sannidhanam at any time during the
festival season and at the time when the temple is open on
Modakam can be purchased
from the counter near the Ganapathy temple at Pampa
Tickets for Appam and
Aravana can be purchased from the branches of Dhanalekshmi
number of rooms, dormitories and Viri type accommodation are
available at Sabarimala. Devotees are advised to contact
the officials of Maramath department, Travancore Devaswom
Board for availing accommodation, well before they leave for
Sabarimala. They are advised not to engage touts or agents
for arranging accommodation. Pilgrims are advised to make
their stay at Sabarimala especially at Sannidhanam as brief
as possible to avoid overcrowding.
There is a
Devaswom board guest house, 3 Pilgrim Centres, 7 Donor
houses and 12 viri sheds, which can accommodate pilgrims.
The person to be approached for accommodation in the Guest
House is the Guest House Manager and for accommodation in
the Pilgrim Centres and Donor Houses, the Accommodation
Manager. Viris will be allotted at the viri locations.
Take rest for 5
minutes after a walk of 10 minutes during the climb.
Use the traditional
path – Marakoottam, Saramkuthy, Nadapanthal – to
Follow the queue
system to reach Pathinettampadi.
Use the Nadapanthal
fly over for return journey.
Use toilets and
latrines for urination and bowel clearance.
prevailing crowd situation and then only proceed to
Sannidhanam from Pampa.
While using Dolly,
make payment only at the Devaswom counter and keep
for security check at security check points.
Approach police for
Inform police about
any suspicious characters.
Buy edible items
from licensed outlets only.
Sannidhanam and the trekking paths clean.
Park vehicles only
at the allotted parkig slots.
Deposit waste in
the waste boxes only.
facilities of medical centers and oxygen parlours if
cards with address and contact numbers to be hung on
the neck of children, aged and malikapurams.
In case of
isolation from groups /friends devotees may report
at police aid posts.
Sabarimala information for devotees
Devotees visiting Sabarimala Temple should strictly adhere to the customs and traditions followed at the temple. Only those coming with IRUMUDIKETTU will be allowed to ascend the Holy PATHINETTAMPADI (Eighteen Holy Steps) leading to the Sannidhanam. Women aged between 10 years and 50 years will not be allowed to trek the Holy Hills. At the time of the Thiru Aarattu Festival, presence of women aged between 10 to 50 is not allowed at Pamba also.
In order to avoid environmental pollution on the road leading to Pampa, Sannidhanam and enroute, all items manufactured in plastic and polythene are strictly banned. Betel chewing, using pan masala and smoking are also strictly banned in the above mentioned places.
Though the Board is trying its level best to provide all amenities to the pilgrims, due to the severe rush the facilities may not be enough. Hence pilgrims are advised not to overstay at the temple premises. Since the boarding facilities at the Sannidhanam are not enough to cater to the heavy rush of pilgrims, the devotees are requested to leave Sannidhanam at the earliest, after Darshan and other rituals.
Parking of vehicles except light vehicles has been arranged at Nilakal. The heavy vehicles should drop the devoees at Pampa and go back to Nilackal, to park the same at the parking area provided by Travancore Devaswom Board. After the Darshan devotees may avail the facility of chain services arranged by KSRTC to reach Nilackal and catch their own vehicles parked at the parking area. These arrangements are to avoid the heavy rush and traffic jam at Pamba. On days having heavy rush, hevy vehicles will not be allowed beyond Nilakkal.
In order to make this annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala a grand success, Devaswom Board requests the co-operation of all devotees in this regard.
Devaswom Commissioner's Office
Travancore Devaswom Board
Thiruvananthapuram 695 003
Phone 0471- 2315156
NILACKAL MAHADEVAR TEMPLE
This is an important Temple enroute to Sabarimala and located between Plappally and Pampa. This is an intermediate halting area (with parking facilities).
ERUMELI SASTHA TEMPLE
Erumeli Sastha Temple, an important meeting place in the pilgrimage trip to Sabarimala is famous on many counts. There is also a Muslim Temple very near to the Sastha Temple. Ayyappans go to Sabarimala after worshipping at these two temples, that symbolise the Hindu-Muslim unity. The pilgrims go to Sabarimala after 'Pettathullal' at Erumeli. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala without Pettathullal and worship at the above mentioned temples is against the traditional dogmas. Erumeli Temple is at a distance of 38 Kms from Kottayam. Nearest Railway station is Kottayam.
PANDALAM VALIYAKOYICKAL TEMPLE
According to legend Ayyaappa as a babe was found lying on the banks of the river Pampa, by the Raja of Pandalam. The Raja had no issue and the child was considered as a God-given gift. It was therefore brought up in court with all regal honours. Ayyappan grew up endowed with heavenly splendour, super human wisdom and physical powers. Sree Dharmaa Sastha of Pandalam Valiyakoyickal Temple is Dharma Deva to King to Pandalam. One of the Major events associated with the Makaravilakku Festival is the procession of the Thiruvabharanam of Lord Ayyappa from this Temple. The nearest town and railway station is Chengannoor-12 Kms away.
KULATHUPUZHA SASTHA TEMPLE
The Sastha Temple at Kulathupuzha is a very ancient one. The idol at Kulathupuzha is called 'Manikantan'. It is believed that the Temple was constructed by the Raja of Pandalam. But the idol was discovered by a Brahmin from Kottarakkara after several years and he started pooja there. The King of Kottarakkara heard about this and he constructed the present temple. Feeding the fishes in the nearby river is an important vazhipadu in the Temple.
ACHANKOIL SASTHA TEMPLE
Achankoil Sastha (Arachan) temple is a sacred place of worship where pilgrims from Kerala and Tamilnadu come in groups through out the year. According to a legend the God gave 'Darshan' to a worshipper who had undertaken long term penance at Kandamala, where the the present temple stands. The main festival season here comes during the Mandalam puja. The nearest town and railway station is Shenkottah-Tamil Nadu.
ARYANKAVU SASTHA TEMPLE.
The legend behind the Ayyappa of Aryankavu is similar to that of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha. The only difference between the two is that Sastha was brough up by the Pandi Raja of Madura and not the Raja of Pandalam. The temple is constructed about 35 feet below the road level. It is at a distance of 2 kms from the majestic Pallaruvi waterfalls located in the deep dense forests. It is believed that Ayyappa had relationship with Sourashtrans while living in the palace of Raja of Madura. Even now Sourashtrans reach here in groups during the time of Mandalapooja. The temple rests 86 Kms away from Thiruvananthapuram
Pathinettapadi (18 divine steps) to the sanctum sanctorium is divine in all aspects. The first three steps depict "Bhoomi, Agni, Vayoo & Akash", 6 to 9 steps for Karmendriya, 10 to 15 for Jhanandriya, 16th for mind 17th Intelligence and 18th Jeevathma Bhava. Those who cross all these steps are believed to achieve "Punyadarshan".
The steep steps are so important and holy that no one can climb them without fasting for 41 days and carrying the holy irrumudi on ones' head.There are many mythological stories associated with the holy Patinettampadi. Some believe the eighteen steps denote the 18 puranas. Some say that 18 weapons with which Lord Ayyappa destroyed the evil denotes the 18 steps. Others are of the belief that the first five steps denotes the indriyas (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin). The next eight steps signifies the ragas (tatwa, kama, krodha, moha, lobha, madha, matsraya, and ahamkara.
The next three steps signifies the gunas (satwa, rajas and thamas). The seventeenth and the eighteenth denotes vidhya and ignorance.
The Patinettampadi can be used only twice - once for ascending the temple and once for descending below leaving the hill. Before ascending or descending the steps, pilgrims break coconut as an offering to the steps. One needs to have the sacre Irumudi on head while going up or down the 18 steps. While descending the steps the devotees climb down backwards facing the sanctum sanctorum.
One who climbs the Patinettampadi for 18 times shall plant a sapling of coconut in Sabarimala.
Built on a plateau about 40 feet high, the Ayyappan temple commands a lofty view of the mountains and valleys all around. The ancient temple has been rebuilt after a fire in 1950. Within the confines of the sanctum sanctorium with a copper-plated roof and four golden finials at the top, two mandapams, the belikalpura which houses the altar, the flag-staff replacing the earlier stone image of the deity, sits a beautiful idol of Ayyappa in panchaloha, an alloy of five metals, about one and a half feet tall.
( www.myhappyjourney.com Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Sabarimali information for devotees