Sabarimala Travel Guide
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Best time to visit Sabarimala in the next six months
- Srinivas gavini Rao
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- State: Kerala
- Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
- Altitude: 468 m
- Pincode: 689645
- District: Pathanamthitta
- Language: Malayalam
- STD code: 0473
- Weather: Summer 23 to 35°C, Winter 17 to 32°C
The meaning of Sabarimala is the mountain of Sabari, who was a prominent Hindu mythological character. Sabarimala is the most famous and important religious destination in Kerala. Surrounded with forests and streams, Sabarimala is situated on the banks of the holy river Pampa, amidst Sahyadri Mountains in Western Ghats, and is 468 metres above sea level. The temple of Ayyapan is nestled within 18 hills and forests. Temples are situated in each of the hills, some of which are Nilackal, Karimala and Kalaketi.
According to legend, Sabarimala is the place where Lord Ayyappan sat for meditation after killing the demoness, Mahishi. The temple can be visited by men of all ages; however, women between the age of 10 and 50, are prohibited to enter the temple, as Ayyappan is a Bramachari i.e. one who follows celibacy.
Before the pilgrimage, devotees need to take a vratham of 41 days, which means they have to wear a garland made of Rudraksha or Tulsi beads and refrain from non-vegetarian food, alcohol, use of abusive language, haircut, shaving and many other activities. Devotees generally come here to settle shani-dosha and make life better.
Sabarimala town, though uninhabited by people, remains busy with pilgrimís inflow, thus, resulting in the presence of various hotels and shops. A shrine of a Muslim saint name Vavaru Swamy is one of the attractions of this place.
Reaching Sabarimala is challenging as the path to Sabarimala goes through the forests and hilly route, which stretches around 45 kilometres and consists of wild animals and reptilian creatures. It takes several hours to reach the temple and can be quite exhaustive.
Nowadays, there is an alternate path available to reach a certain point by vehicles. However, after that point, vehicles are prohibited and devotees have to walk for about 4 kilometres to reach the temple.
The nearest airports to reach this place are located in Kochi and Trivandrum. Trivandrum International Airport is about 175 kilometres and Nedumbassery International Airport at Kochi is190 kilometres from Sabarimala.
The nearest railway station to this place is at Chengannur, which is at a distance of around 93 kilometres from the place. The best time to visit Sabarimala is between the months of November to April, when most of the templesí festivals are celebrated.