Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple

Sree Dharma Sastha temple, Sabarimala is a pilgrimage centre located in a hill top in Pathanamthitta district. It lies at a height of around 468 m above sea level. This temple is under the control of the Travancore Devaswom Board. The deity here is Sri Ayyappan and this place is considered to be the place where Ayyappan meditated after defeating the demon Mahishi. The pilgrims can reach the temple by trekking through the mountain. It is surrounded by thick forests. To reach the temple, people walk from Erumeli to Sabarimala. Some people also use a different path by travelling in a vehicle up to Pamba river from where they start to climb the mountain.sabarimala-temple

Near to this temple lies the Vavar Thara where the deity is Vavar, friend of Ayyappan. This temple is opened during the Mandalam period that comes in the month November and December, Makaravilakku in January and Vishu that is in April. It is also opened on the first six days of all the Malayalam months. The prasadam that is give from here is the Aravana Payasam and Appam. When the temple door closes at night, the prayer Harivarasanam is sung. The devotees can offer Ghee to the Lord which is poured on the idol.

In order to enter the temple, one has to climb 18 steps called as the Pathinettampadi. These 18 steps are now made of Panchaloham. The devotees to this temple have to observe a Vratham for 41 days. They have to wear a Rudraksha chain, wear black, dark blue or saffron colored cloths and should quit all bad habits during this period. They have to go to any local temple daily twice. A devotee after wearing the Rudraksha chain is called as Ayyappan. The pilgrims have to carry an Irumudi or Pallikettu which is a cloth bag having 2 portions. The offerings to the Lord are kept in this and the devotees have to carry it on their head. A devotee who visits sabarimala for the first time is called as Kanni Ayyappan and the color of his bag is Saffron, while that of the others is Blue or Black. A person who has gone to Sabarimala for 18 years is called as Guru Swami. Earlier one can visit Sabarimala only once in a year but at present it is possible to visit several times in a year.

It is estimated that around 45 to 50 million devotees visit this temple in a year. The women who belong to the age group 10 to 50 are not allowed to visit Sabarimala. It is because Ayyappan is a Brahmachari which means Celibate. The pilgrims are not only from Kerala but also from other South Indian states.

The most important day here is the Makarasankranthi that falls between January 14 and 16. Every year a miracle happens on that day. When the ornaments of the Lord are transferred from the Old palace to the Sabarimala, a Krishnaparunthu circles above the jewels. It follows the procession and on reaching Sabarimala, circles above the Sannidhanam for 9 times. At that time a single star appears on the sky which disappears once the jewels are worn on the idol. After sometime a Divyajyothi appears on the opposite hill called as Ponnambalamedu and shines for three times.
To take the panoramic view of Sabarimala temple, follow the link:-

How To Reach

District Pathanamthitta
Near Bus Station Chengannur bus station
Near Railway Station Kottayam railway station
Near Airport Thiruvananthapuram International Airport