Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western
Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The sanctum sanctoram
nestles 914 m above sea level, amidst the virgin forest wilderness of the
The Village of Sabarimala is named after Shabari who did severe penance in
order to meet Rama who granted her wish for her devotion and faith during
The main pilgrimage is undertaken between November and January. Regardless
of caste, creed, colour, they wear black dhotis and carry on their heads,
bundles containing traditional offerings like coconut filled with ghee,
camphor and rice.
How to Get There
Transportation is available upto Pamba, from where one has to travel a
distance of 5 kms on foot. Devotees undertake rigorous penance, ritualistic
vows and fasts before they visit the temple.
The Main Festival
Sabarimala is one of the most important Hindu temples of Kerala. The
Sabarimala Temple festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Ayyapan who is
revered by all in India.
There are two main pujas called the Mandal Puja and the Makara Sankranti
Puja, which are celebrated from November to Middle of January in Kerala,
during which time the devotees perform austerities and penance.
Devotees undergo rigorous penance and austere living before starting on the
pilgrimage. Devotees wear black 'dhotis' and are bare-chested as they
prepare for the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
The temple is at the top of the Neeli hills and the devotees have to climb
the treacherous route carrying their meagre provision in a bundle called "Iru
Mudi" meaning in "two folds".
The distance from the base of the hill to the top takes about three days to
cover and the most important part of the pilgrimage are the final 18 steps,
which lead to the temple. The temple dome is covered with gold and the
devotees break the coconuts before climbing the steps.