Posted On January 20, 2012 

Sabarimala or the Sabari Mountain is the most famous pilgrim destination in God’s own country Kerala. Ensconced amidst dense forests and the lovely streams, the Sabarimala temple is a symbol of religious devotion,spirituality, love and equality. Located on the banks of the holy River Pampa in the Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, this pilgrim hub lies on the top of the Sahyadri Mountains of the Western Ghats in Southern India.

Sabarimala temple

In this famous pilgrim destination  you will find the very famous Ayappa temple where pilgrims reach after a long trek. With the undulating landscape and verdant stretches, the gurgling streams ensure that the entire ambience is very pleasant for the pilgrim. With a wide variety of flora and fauna, the climb up to the Sabarimala temple is an exhilarating experience. One reaches the Sabarimala Township through the Pampa Township which lies at the base of the Sabarimala. One treks for around two hours to reach the top.

It is not inhabited by people but the Sabarimala Township is filled with pilgrims, hotels and shops. It is said that it is Saint Parasurama who installed the idol of  here on the top of the mountain. The season for Sabarimala pilgrimage begins in the month of November and gets over by the end of January. The entire pilgrimage starts with a fast of 41 days which starts from November 17 and then ends with the sight of the Makaravilakku on January 14.

Lord Ayappa

Many pilgrims throng this place and these belong to any caste, creed or religion. Lord Ayappa blesses all is what is believed by all these people. Here is where there is a shrine dedicated to Vavaru Swamy, a Muslim saint. Thus the temple and the shrine exudes the amount of harmony that is so needed in today’s world and that is so simply indicated here. Women above 14 years of age and below 50 years are not allowed into the temple. Women with active cycle of menstruation are not allowed to come to this temple. There are certain rules and customs to be followed to reach this temple. Non vegetarian food should not be consumed as also alcohol and any kind of carnal pleasures shouldn’t be had.

Vavaru Swamy Muslim saint

Every pilgrim who comes here feels fulfilled after coming here and paying homage to Lord Ayappa. The aesthetic value to the pilgrim’s life is very great and in spite of all hardships, many actually still visit this temple regularly every year. The road up to the temple is very tricky and rough yet is very frequented by all the devotees who come here with a lot of fervour. The forty five kilometre stretch ends at the River Pampa and it is a difficult climb to this place, yet there is lot of passion amidst the devotees. Chenganoor is the nearest railway station and this place is around 30 km from the base of the hill.

River Pampa

There is another path that issued by the vehicles to reach a certain place in the mountain. From here tourists have to travel by foot as no vehicles are allowed. The last part of the entire trek is very arduous and difficult for the pilgrims. They travel for around four kilometers and this trek is time consuming. There are facilities of chair lifts for those who are old and they are carried up for a small amount.

Sabarimala is a revered pilgrim destination in South India and one takes a lot of effort to reach this place. It is no wonder that the devotees wish to come here each year and every year then on.

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