Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple is an ancient mountain shrine located in the Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. This beautiful temple is situated on the virgin Sabari Hills in a deep, dense forest. Millions of pilgrims visit this temple every year during Mandalakalam (from November to mid-January) to seek blessings from the boy god, Lord Ayyappa. Sabarimala Temple is situated at an altitude of around 914 meters above sea level on the gorgeous Western Ghats mountain ranges. Pilgrims need to walk around 4 kilometers from Pamba as the temple is accessible only by foot.
Sabarimala temple is one of the most popular temples in South India. The presiding deity of the temple is believed to be consecrated at the foot of Sabari Hills by Lord Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala. Even Ramayana has reference about Sabarimala temple. This temple is also famous for religious harmony and the Vavar Thara in the premises of this holy spot is a fine example for it. Vavar is believed to be a Sufi saint who became the friend of Lord Ayyappa. He is a sub-deity in the temple and devotees offer prayers to him also. Pilgrims irrespective of religion, caste or wealth visits this temple to offer prayers. Since all the devotees are equal in front of the god, they address each other as Swamy or Ayyappa.
Anybody can visit this temple and offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa. However, entry is restricted for women from the age group of 10 to 50. Devotees who wish to visit the temple need to undergo strict fasting for 41 days. The main festivals of this forest temple are Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku. Sabarimala temple remains closed throughout the year after the Mandalakalam. Nowadays, it opens for the first 5 days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu festival (April) for carrying out poojas. Chengannur, Thiruvalla and Kottayam are the nearest railway stations to this holy site. All of them are approximately 90 kilometers away from Pamba. Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are two nearest airports to this temple which arearound 191 km and 210 km away respectively. Log on the website of Tour My India to get more information about Sabraimala Sree Ayyappa Temple.