Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Swamy Temple is situated in a dense forest on hills of Sabari, which is located in the Ranni-Perunad village of Kerala, in South India. It lies in the district of Pathanamthitta. It is considered as one of the most ancient mountain shrines. Several Sabrimala Ayyappa Swamy temple photos can be found all over the web, like the one shown above.
Below is a divine Sabrimala Ayyappa photos. Entire Ayyappa Swamy photo gallery can be seen and downloaded through internet.
Sabarimala ayyapa swamy temple is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world, with approximately 100 million devotees visiting the temple every year. The temple is situated at an altitude of 468 m above the mean sea level. It is surrounded by lush forest from all sides. The dense forest around the temple is the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
There are many temples which exist on each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. Not all of these temples are intact and functional as at places there are just remenants and ruins of the temples which are left but in some surrounding areas like Nilackal, Kalaketi etc many functional glorious temples still exist. Lord Ayyappan’s temple is located amidst these 18 hills.
Sabarimala according to Hindu Mythology is the place where where the Hindu god Ayyappan meditated after having killed the powerful demoness Mahishi. Sabarimala is a Hindu pilgrimage which is predominantly meant for men of all ages.
Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple history :
According to another mythical story the deity structured in the temple was consecrated by Lord Parasurama at the foothills of Sabari, Ramayana has the reference to this mythological inference. The temple attracts millions of pilgrims from the entire country particularly from South India.
The Pilgrimage and History of the Temple :
Many more such ancient Ayyappa temple images can be found on internet.
The pilgrims headed towards Sabarimala generally wear black or blue dress, which makes it easy to identify them. According to the law they do not get their head or beards shaved until they complete the pilgrimage. They smear Vibhuti or sandal paste which are considered Holy on their forehead. Menstruating females (approximately 12-50 years of age) are not allowed in the temple, because the sexual status of Lord Ayyappa prohibits the women in menstrual age group to enter the temple.
Lord Ayyappan was a Bramhachari (celibate). The temple is only open for the pilgrims for worship in the winters 15 November to 26 December which marks the days of Holy Mandalapooja. The other exceptions in the schedule are “Makar Sankranti” (14 January), Maha Vishuva Sankranti which is 14th April, and the consecutive first five days of each Malayalam month, on which the temple is open for worship. Close to the Shri Ayyappa temple is Vavar Thara’.
According to a famous legend Vavar was a sufi saint and was very close to Ayyappa Swamy. Apart from this a significant aspect of Sabarimala pilgrimage is that all pilgrims are considered equal before Lord Ayyapa, irrespective of cast or religion or even wealth. They address each other as Ayyappa or Swamy.
The Temple can only be reached by foot. The arduous 4 km trek through the wilderness and thick jungle on crossing River Pampa, has long been a source of spiritual chastisement and devotees also consider its water to have cleansing abilities. The devotees get attracted towards it with divine magnetism, such is the grandeur and belief of the temple.
Temple Calendar :
The Sabrimala Ayyapa Swamy temple, Kerala committee along with the support of the Kerala government had made the schedule of the temple available to the devotees so that they can come and pay their homage to the Lord at whatever time they want. The list of the events to be organised in the temple for the year 2016 along with Ayyappa temple timings and Ayyappa temple opening dates has been given in the temple calendar.
|Month||Pooja||Opening date||Closing date|
|January 2016||Makaravilakku Day||15/01/2016|
|February 2016||Monthly Pooja – Kumbham||13/02/2016||18/02/2016|
|March 2016||Monthly Pooja – Meenam||13/03/2016||18/03/2016|
|Painkuni Uthram (Ayyappan Nakshatra Birth Date) & Arattu(lord Ayyappa Swamy birth date)||23/03/2016|
|April 2016||Meda Vishu Festival||10/04/2016||18/04/2016|
|May 2016||Monthly Pooja – Edavam||14/05/2016||19/05/2016|
|June 2016||Idol Installation Pooja||13/06/2016||14/06/2016|
|Idol Installation Day||14/06/2016|
|Monthly Pooja – Midhunam||14/06/2016||19/06/2016|
|July 2016||Monthly Pooja – Karkkidakam||15/07/2016||20/07/2016|
|August 2016||Monthly Pooja – Chingam||16/08/2016||21/08/2016|
|September 2016||Onam Pooja||12/09/2016||16/09/2016|
|Monthly Pooja – Kanni||16/09/2016||21/09/2016|
|October 2016||Monthly Pooja – Thulam||16/10/2016||21/10/2016|
|Sree Chithra Atta Thirunal||29/10/2016||30/10/2016|
|November 2016||Mandala Pooja Maholsavam||15/11/2016||26/12/2016|
|December 2016||Thirunada opens for Makaravilakku||30/12/2016||20/01/2017|
|January 2017||Makaravilakku Day||14/01/2017|
The Kerala Government had made special arrangements and tied-up with different hotels and motel around the area to make accommodation easy for the incoming pilgrims. They have registered these organisations under a single committee of the temple and all the reservations and bookings in the hotels can be done online. The system is good which makes is easy to manage huge flocks of pilgrims coming to the city.
|Accomodation at Sannidhanam (Sabarimala) & Pamba|
|Guest House|| Rate / Room
|Accommodation Officer/ Guest House Manager Phone Numbers|
|PALAZHI (DH I)||350||04735-202049|
|SOPANAM (DH II)||350||04735-202049|
|MANIKANTAN (DH III)||325||04735-202049|
|CHINMUDRA (DH IV)||325||04735-202049|
|SIVASAKTHI (DH V)||525 – 975||04735-202049|
|TEJASWINI (DH VI)||525||04735-202049|
|SREEMATHA (DH VII)||525||04735-202049|
|PRANAVAM (PC I)||325||04735-202049|
|SAHYADRI (PC II)||325||04735-202049|
|KAILAS (PC III)||200||04735-202049|
|Poorna, Pushkala Hall||1275||04735-202049|
|Sabari Guest House – 2 Bed||1000||04735-202056|
|Sabari Guest House – 3 Bed||1500||04735-202056|
|Sabari Guest House -4 Bed||2000||04735-202056|
|Forest IB Sabarimala||200 / per bed + 50 / each additional||04735-202074 / 75|
|Forest Dormitory||80 / per bed||04735-202074 / 75|
Reaching Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple :
The Sabrimala Ayyappa Swamy, Kerala temple is easily accessible by road, trains and buses. Apart from the 4 km trek which needs to be covered on foot. In order to reach the temple by :
The nearest airport to the temple is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport which is 170 km from the temple and the Cochin International Airport which is situated in Nedumbassery, Kochi which is 160 km from the temple. From the airport there are buses running non-stop for the temple.
The temple is also accessible by helicopter also. In perunad there is Sabarimala Heliport which is 40 km from pampa. It has services from various nearby locations. Majority of the pilgrimages visiting Sabarimala use the helicopter services and this heliport.
The Chengannur Railway Station which is 82 km from the temple, has been declared as Gateway of Sabarimala is 82 kms from the temple. Other railway stations like Tiruvalla Railway Station which is 92 km from the temple, and Kollam Junction railway station which is 129 km from the temple are the railway stations nearest to the temple. There are direct bus services to Pamba from the Chegannur Railway station. Majority of the pilgrimages who come and visit the temple arrive at this railway station only.
If you want to come to the temple by road then the road to follow is Pathanamthitta – Pamba Trunk Road, which passes through, Mannarakulanji followed by Vadasserikara, then Perunad, next stop is Laha, and penultimate station is Nilackal before we reach Pampa.
The road transport corporation of Kerala which is Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), has regular buses running from the nearest and major towns and cities like Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kumili. These buses run on a daily basis. But on special occasions and special days, like on days when the temple is open for Pujas, KSRTC expands this network of buses reaching all the major towns of Kerala and neighbouring states.
Other Major Hindu Temples Around Sabirmala Temple :
Kottiyoor Utsavam : It is located 60 km east of Thalassery
Kodungallur Bharani : This Temple is considered as one of the oldest temples of Kerala from Sangam ages. The temple is located 38 km south of Thrissur.
Attukal pongala : It is situated 4.2 km from Trivandrum (Thampanoor) city.
Makara Bharani : It is is highly auspicious day observed on the day when the Bharani Nakshtram falls in the Malayalam month Makaram.
Kottangal Devi : This Temple is located 25 km from the Thiruvalla city of Kerala.