Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple is one of the most ancient and prominent Sastha temples in the country. Located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is one of the few Hindu temples in India that is open to all faiths.
The shrine of Sabarimala is one of the most remote shrines in southern India yet it still draws three to four million pilgrims each year. Surrounded by mountains and dense forest Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Ayyappan meditated. Perhaps the best known pilgrimage destination in Kerala is Sabarimala. Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. It is believed that "Parasurama Maharshi" who retrieved 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 shrine gets thronged with devotees especially during the main pilgrim season from November to January.
Mandala pooja (December12,2011) and Makaravilakku(Jan.15th,2012) are the two main events of the pilgrim season. The temple stays closed during the rest of the year except for the first five days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu (April).
Certain customs are to be strictly observed if one has to undertake a pilgrimage to Sabarimala. A pilgrim attending the Mandalapooja should observe austerities for 41 days. During this period, the pilgrim should abstain himself from non vegetarian food and carnal pleasures.
Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader, and each carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi kettu containing traditional offerings. Unlike certain Hindu temples, Sabarimala temple has no restrictions of caste or creed. The temple is open to males of all age groups and to women who have either passed their fertility age and those before reaching the stage of puberty.
The easiest route is via Chalakkayam, by which one can reach the banks of the river Pamba by vehicle. Pamba is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. From here one has to trek 4 to 5 kms to reach the temple.
N. Balamurali was selected as the 'melsanthi' or chief priest of the temple this time. The selection is done based on a draw of lots conducted at the temple premises.
T.K. Eeswaran Namboodiri was selected as the 'melsanthi' of Malikappuram Devi temple attached to the hill shrine complex, in a draw of lots held at the temple.
Kerala.com Travel Division guides the Sabarimala pilgrims to the Sannidhanam of Lord Ayyappa by providing special travel packages and
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AYYAPPAN know as AYYAN who belonged to the Vellalar Kulam, was the army chief of the Pandalam royal family. He lived with his uncle Perisseri Pillai of Erumeli, Kottayam dist, Kerala. This was about .......Read more
Massive development projects planned at Sabarimala
Aiming to improve facilties for pilgrims at Sabarimala, massive development projects worth Rs100 crore would be implemented before the next pilgrimage season, additional chief secretary, K Jaykumar said.
Ten projects have been selected which would be taken up on a priority basis once the financial sanction was accorded, Jayakumar told reporters after a meeting of Sabarimala Infrastructure Development fund trust board held at nedumabssery last night.
Sponsors would identified to implement some schemes.
The first priority would be to develop Nilackkal base camp and resting facilities for pilgrims would be provided there, he said. With this facility the crowd proceeding to the Sabarimala sanctum sanctorum could be restricted. More queue complexes would be introduced in the area to reduce the congestion in the queues moving to the Sreekovil for darsan.
The vehicle parking area would be expanded, a check-dam would be constructed to enhance the storage capacity of Water, he said.
Chief patrons of the board former supreme court judge Justice Arijit Pasayath and principal secretary to the Prime Minister TKA Nair, Devaswom Ombudsman Justice Bhaskaran and TDB president Rajagopalan Nair were among those attended the meeting.
Action needed, not probe into Sabarimala stampede: Sushama Swaraj
Pulumedu(kerala), 20 Jan 2011(IANS):Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday asked the Kerala government to take action against those responsible for the Sabarimala stampede that left 102 pilgrims dead.
It was last Friday night that 102 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at Pulumedu. The tragedy happened here, about 30 km from the temple, soon after the celestial light appeared on the horizon.
Addressing reporters after visiting the accident site, Swaraj said the need of the hour was not an inquiry but stern action against those responsible for the tragedy.http://www.kerala.com/news_kerala_Action_needed,_not_0_5269.html
Sushma Swaraj to visit Sabarimala Wednesday
Kochi,19 Jan 2011 (IANS): Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj will Wednesday visit the spot near the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala where 102 people lost their lives in a stampede, an official said.http://www.kerala.com/news_kerala_Sushma_Swaraj_to_0_5266.html
For a state that has failed to act on recommendations of a panel that probed a similar tragedy in 1999, the government was prompt in announcing a judicial inquiry into the Sabarimala stampede on Friday that left more than 100 pilgrims dead. Is this just another way to drain the taxpayer’s money? One
Tragedy struck the popular Sabarimala pilgrimage on Friday with at least 60 people reported dead following an accident which resulted in a stampede, around 10km from the forest shrine in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district.