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Sabarimala Pilgrimage



When you can take the Pilgrimage
During Mandala Pooja


Around Mid - November to 25th of December, ( "Vrischikam 1st to Dhanu 11th" )
During Makaravilakku


Beginning of January to around 14th January ( 1st "Makaram" )
Every first 5 days


Malayalam month, around 15th to 20th of English calendar Month. 

Importance / Significance:

Sabarimala visit is a lifetime experience. Any person, irrespective of his/her caste, creed and other religious restrictions ( Women of age 10 to 50 are not permitted ) can visit the shrine. A disciplined life style, both physically and mentally is required for the 41 days prior to the visit called "Vratham". During which period the person taking the pilgrimage is supposed to abstinate himself from taking non-vegetarian items, sex etc. He is supposed not to talk to anyone in abusive language etc. Each pilgrim is called an Ayyappan, and is considered to be at par with the Deity himself. The pilgrimage includes visits to a number of important Hindu and Muslim shrines, indicating the religious harmony Lord Ayyappa worked for. Every year about 30 Million pilgrims visit Sabarimala within 60 days. Since the shrine is situated in the middle of forest surrounded by 18 hillocks, trekking through difficult terrain is required for a few hours. 


A first time pilgrim ( Kanni Ayyappan ) wears his garland made of Thulasi or Rudraksha in the presence of a Guru Swamy. For the 41 days, each morning he goes to the temple after bath, wearing Black or Blue clothes. On completion of "Vratham", Ayyappan prepares "Erumudi",  a cloth bag with 2 pouches, joined in the middle, containing pooja materials like Rice, Camphor, Turmeric, Coconut filled with Ghee etc. This is called "Kettumurukku". Along with the Guru Swamy, he sets out for the pilgrimage, visiting important religious sites on the way, including the mosque and temple at Erumeli. Some of the places normally visited are Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabari Peedham, Saram kuthi etc. The cloth bag is carried on the head and they chant "Swami Saranam" all the time. Finally,  the 18 steps to the shrine are climbed and the offerings are made. A visit to Malikappuram is normal. After returning home, he removes the garland after a pooja. The normal routes are:  A devotee who takes a pilgrimage for 18 times in his life and who climbs the Pathinettampadi 18 times is said that he gets Moksha.

a) Pamba - Appachimedu - Sabari Peedham - Saram Kuthi - Sabarimala.

b) Erumeli - Kalaketti - Azhutha - Kallidam Kunnue - Karimala - ( Traditional Route )

c) Kumali - Vandipperiyar - Uppupara - Uralkuzhi Theertham – Sabarimala

During the Makaravilakku time, important events like Petta Thullal at Erumeli, Pamba Sadya, Pamba Vilakku and Makarajyoti at Ponnambalamedu take place. 


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