Sabarimala is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha temples in Kerala. It is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world. It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre with an estimate of over 100 million devotees visiting every year. It is the place where the Hindu god Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demoness Mahishi. The temple is situated in the Western Ghat mountain ranges on a hilltop, named Sabarimala; at an altitude of 468 m (1,535 ft) above mean sea level, and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests of the Periyar Tiger Reserve of Pathanamthitta District. The dense forest around the temple is known as Poomkavanam. The temple is open to men of all ages, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It also serves as a place for religious harmony, as there is a place near the temple, located east to the Sannidhanam; dedicated to the Vavar, a sufi and friend of Lord Ayyappa, known as Vavarunada. Vehicles could go only up to Pampa; so, Inorder to reach the temple, one have to traverse through difficult paths in the forest. Another interesting fact is that it is not open throughout the year.

The temple is open for worship only during the days of

Mandalapooja : November 15 to December 26 (approximately)
Makaravilakku or Makar Sankranti : January 14
Maha Vishuva Sankranti : April 14
First five days of each Malayalam month.

The Ayyappan’s temple is situated amidst 18 hills.
1.  Ponambalam medu
2.  Kundall mamala
3.  Sundara mamala
4.  Nagranezum mala
5.   Ingiparakota
6.  Karinira mamala
7.  Mayiladum mamala
8.  Chittambalamala
9.  Sripadam mala
10. Pudhusheri mamala
11. Madangga mala
12. Kalkimaleshwara mamala
13. Nelakkal shivamala
14. Thalapara mala
15. Devar mala
16. Kalakatti mala
17. Neelimala
18. Sabariponnmala Sabarimala

Temples exist in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. While functional and intact temples exist at many places in the surrounding areas like Nilackal, Kalaketi, and Karimala, remnants of old temples survive to this day on remaining hills.

How to reach sabarimala?

Sabarimala is about 92 kms from chengannur railway station. Almost all trains  via kottayam to trivandrum  stop at chengannur.

KSRTC buses are also available from chengannur to pamba.

Pilgrims  can also get down at kottayam railway station and proceed to pamba by bus.

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