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Kerala tourism Guide

Sabarimala Shrine

Sabarimala Shrine

Sabarimala Shrine or Sabarimala Sree Dharmashastha Temple situated on a hilltop deep inside a jungle in Pathanamthitta district is the largest pilgrimage centre in the world with more than 50 million devotees visiting the shrine every year. This temple is open only during Mandalapooja, Makaravilakku and Vishu and unlike other temple its door are open to all irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

Way of excecution and activities Sabarimala Shrine

It is believed that Sabrimala Shrine was built by Lord Parasurama and it is one of the five panchashastha temples built by him to protect Kerala from destructive elements. The presiding deity in Sabrimala Shrine is Lord Ayyappa or Dharmashastha who is a brahmachari and in a state of Samadhi holding chinmudra. After the vanquishing of the demon Mahishi, It is said that the lord chose this solitary abode to meditate. The other four temples built by Lord Parasurama are at Kulathupuzha where Lord Ayyappa is worshipped as an infant, in Aryankavu as an adolescent and in Achankoil as grihasthashrami. The devotees who wish to take this pilgrimage are expected to take a Vratham (fast) for 41 days prior to the temple visit. Women in the menstrual age group 10 to 50 are not allowed to enter the temple because Lord Ayyappa is a celibate. The sanidhanam is the main Sanctum of the lord and to the east is the Vavarnada to commemorate Vavar a Muslim associate of the Lord. The main ritual here is the pouring of sacred ghee on the idol of Lord Ayyappa brought by pilgrims in their Pallikettu or Irumudi a hand-woven cotton cloth with two compartments. The two compartments Irumudi symbolically means the merging of Jeevatma to the Paramatma.

Similar Festivals

  • There are no other temples in India where the Pilgrimage is taken in a similar fashion like Sabrimala Shrine.

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