Sabarimala – Ayyappa temple

As advised by the Lord, the Raja of Pandalam constructed the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. It is also believed that there already existed the DharmaSastha temple at Sabarimala, one of the 64 temples established by Parasurama, and Lord Ayyappa merged into the deity there.

The King (Raja) of Pandalam renovated/ reconstructed the temple, supervising the work by staying at Perunadu. He constructed an Ayyappa temple there also for performing his daily pooja of the Lord. Deities of Malikappurathamma, Kadutha swami and Vaver swami were installed as also the ‘pathinettampadi’ (holy 18 steps) and ‘bhasmakulam’.

The legend behind Malikappurathamma is that Leela, daughter of Galavamuni, under curse of her husband Dathan, was reborn as Mahishi, an “asura’ female with a buffalo’s face. Upon having killed by Lord Ayyappa, the curse was revoked and the beautiful woman rose out of the corpse. She thanked the Lord and prayed to be with Him as His wife.

However, the Lord told her that He is a ‘brahmachari’ and so her desire would not be fulfilled. However, He allowed her to remain in Sabarimala, a little distant from His abode, as His sister – Malikappurathamma. The Vaver temple at Erumeli, the beginning of the forest route was also constructed. Various rituals were fixed, believed to be on the advice of Agasthyamuni. Legend also says that Parasurama himself came down to install the Ayyappa deity. The ‘vrutham’ and other practices to be followed before and during the Sabarimala pilgrimage were also prescribed as dictated by the Lord. Arrangements for monthly poojas were made.

Once in a year, during Makaravilakku, the Raja visits Sabarimala along with the holy ornaments (Thiruvabharanam) from the Palace, which are, adorned on the Ayyappa deity and ‘deeparadhana’ conducted. It is at this time that the ‘jyothi’ appears on the eastern horizon. During Mandalam-Makaravilakku season, by custom, nobody starts on pilgrimage after the Raja of Pandalam sets out for Sannidhanam on 28th Dhanu, along with the Thiruvabharanam. In addition, pilgrims are restrained from going to Malikappuram after the ‘guruthi’ there on 6th Makaram.

The period of Ayyappa is considered to be somewhere between 300-400 M.E. (1125-1225 A.D). Since Pandalam was assumed by Travancore in 1820 A.D, the administration of all the temples within the kingdom, including Sabarimala was done by Travancore govt., which was subsequently handed over to the Travancore Devaswom Board after Independence. As per the Travancore State Manual ” the understanding arrived at when the particular temples were founded and endowed are followed”. Thus the Raja of Pandalam even now continues to function in the dual status of the father of the Lord and the founder of the temple.

The important pilgrimage season in Sabarimala is from 1st Vrischikom to 6th Makaram M.E. (mid-November to mid-January). Devotees irrespective of religion, cast, creed, nationality or social status are equals in His abode and are all addressed by His own name, namely ‘Ayyappa’. In fact, the pilgrimage includes worship at Vaver temples at Erumeli & Sannidhanam, managed by Muslims. This stands as a glittering example of Hindu-Muslim unity. However, women in the age group 10-50 shall not go to Sabarimala. Other women devotees are permitted to trek the hill and are called as ‘Malikappurams‘.

If you liked this Sabarimala – Ayyappa temple, please like, tweet and share this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pin Board or leave a comment. You can also get the latest Place by subscribing to our feed. Don't forgot to share your voice with your friends! They may have also like or have thought on this Place and that will help us to improve our selves!.

Total number of people read this article: 1327

Join Our Newsletter

Latest Tamil Cinema news and gossips, like what you read here in this article?
Get more like it delivered to your inbox daily.

You need to do one more thing before you'll start receiving content from us.

  1. Check your email for a message from
  2. Click the link in that email.
  3. If you don't see the email in about 10 minutes, check your spam filter.
  4. Add [email protected] to your list of 'safe senders' in your email program. Otherwise, the content you want might end up in a nasty spam filter. And that's just wrong.

Once you do that, you'll receive the good stuff next time we publish. See you then!

Our Mailing List Policy

We Hate SPAM: Seriously. We don't like to send unsolicited email, and we know you don't like to receive unsolicited email. Below, we outline our Mailing List Policy, which could be summarized simply as "We Hate Spam."

No unsolicited email: We never buy lists of email addresses from other people, period. We never send email newsletters or promotions to people who haven't subscribed, period.

Your email address is safe with us.
We never sell or share your email addresses with other companies.

You can unsubscribe at any time: If you receive a newsletter or email and decide you don't like it, simply click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

If you feel you've been sent unsolicited email and would like to register a complaint, please email our abuse department.

Leave a Reply



Pandalam in Kerala is the chosen and blessed place where Lord Ayyappa, the presiding