Exploring the Spiritual Symphony of Sabarimala

Soulful Trip to Sabarimala

Sabarimala is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site in Kerala’s Western Ghats mountain ranges. The main attraction of Sabarimala is the Ayyappa Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. This temple is unique in many aspects, including its rituals, traditions, and the pilgrimage journey known as “Ayyappa Deeksha.”

Pilgrimage Season:

The main pilgrimage season to Sabarimala is from November to January. The most significant events during this period were the Mandala Pooja and Makaravilakku, celebrated in December and January.

Pathinettam Padi

Pathinettam Padi

Pathinettam Padi, or the 18 holy steps, is a sacred site in the Sabarimala temple. It is the final obstacle that pilgrims must overcome before reaching the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, which houses the idol of Lord Ayyappa.

The steps are believed to represent the 18 stages of spiritual enlightenment. The first five steps represent the five senses, the next eight steps represent the eight emotions, the next three represent the three gunas (qualities), and the final step represents moksha (liberation).

Climbing the Pathinettam Padi is a physically and spiritually demanding journey. The steps are steep and slippery, and the air is thin at the altitude of Sabarimala. However, for pilgrims, the journey symbolises their devotion to Lord Ayyappa.

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Malikkappuram Devi Temple

Malikkappuram Devi Temple

The temple is believed to have been built in the 15th century. The temple’s main deity is Malikappurathamma, who is depicted as a four-armed goddess holding a sword, shield, conch, and lotus flower. The temple also has shrines dedicated to Ayyappa, Ganesha, and Hanuman.

The temple is a popular pilgrimage destination for Ayyappa devotees. Devotees who visit the temple offer prayers to Malikappurathamma to fulfil their wishes. The temple is also known for its annual festival, which is held in December.

The temple is open to the public all year round. However, the best time to visit the temple is during the annual festival.

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Vavar Shrine

Vavar Shrine

The Vavar Shrine is dedicated to Vavar Swami, a legendary Muslim figure believed to be a close friend and companion of Lord Ayyappa, a Hindu deity. This unique bond between figures from different faiths embodies the beautiful syncretic traditions of Kerala and serves as a powerful symbol of religious harmony.

The Vavar story extends beyond the Sabarimala temple. In Erumely, a town considered the starting point of the Sabarimala pilgrimage, stands the Vavar Mosque. Built upon the request of Lord Ayyappa himself, according to local legends, the mosque showcases a blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.

The Vavar Shrine, with its unique traditions and rich history, is more than just a place of worship. It’s a testament to the deep bond between Ayyappa and Vavar, a symbol of religious harmony and an integral part of the Sabarimala pilgrimage experience.

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Pampa Ganapathy Temple

Pampa Ganapathy Temple

Pampa Ganapathy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is located on the banks of the Pamba River in Pamba, Kerala, India. It is the first temple and holy spot from Pamba to Sannidanam, the final destination of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.

The temple is believed to have been built in the 16th century by the Pandalam royal family. The temple’s main deity is Lord Ganesha, who is worshipped as the remover of obstacles and the bestower of wisdom. The temple also has sanctums dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, Lord Hanuman, Goddess Parvati, and other Hindu deities.

Pampa Ganapathy Temple is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over India. Devotees visiting the temple offer prayers for a safe and successful pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The temple is also a popular sightseeing destination for its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings.

 

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Nilakkal Sree Mahadeva Temple

Nilakkal Sree Mahadeva Temple

Nilakkal Sri Mahadeva Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Pathanamthitta district in the Indian state of Kerala. The temple is one of the important “idathavalam” or halting places for the Sabarimala pilgrims. Travancore Devaswom Board administers the temple.

The temple’s presiding deity is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in the form of Ugramoorthy (fierce) and Mangala pradayakan (auspicious). The temple has two Upa Prathishtas (sub-deities) – Lord Kannimoola Ganapathi and Nandi.

Three Poojas are held every day in the temple. The morning session includes Usha pooja, the noon session with Ucha pooja, and the dusk session concludes with Deeparadhana. The temple is especially crowded during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season.

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Pamba River

Pamba River

The Pamba River is beautiful and essential in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the third longest river in the state, after the Periyar and Bharathappuzha rivers, and it has a long and rich history.

Hindus consider the Pamba River sacred, and it is often called the “Dakshin Bhagirathi” or the “Southern Ganges.” The Sabarimala temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is located on the banks of the river. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the temple during the Mandala period, which begins in November and ends in December.

In addition to its religious and economic importance, the Pamba River is also a beautiful and scenic spot. The river pours through overgrown green forests and past rolling hills. There are many waterfalls and rapids along the river’s course. The Pamba River is a truly unique and special place.

 

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Common things to consider
Choose the proper footwear

Trekking shoes with fine grip are essential. Avoid sandals or slippers, as the terrain can be uneven and slippery. Bring a good pair of hiking socks to prevent blisters.

Pack healthy snacks

Pack energy-boosting snacks like fruits, nuts, and granola bars to keep your energy levels up during the trek and avoid heavy meals.

Stay hydrated

Carry enough water and stay hydrated throughout the trek. Free RO water vending machines are available along the way, so refill whenever possible.

Respect the environment

Avoid littering and dispose of waste responsibly. Keep the holy Sabarimala clean and pristine.

Interested in Sabarimala Trip?

SRMPR Railways operates the special train from Chennai to Sabarimala exclusively. For more information, check the tour itinerary.

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