Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple, tucked away high up in the Western Ghats mountains, is perhaps the best known pilgrimage destination in Kerala. It also holds the honor of being the most famous and important among all the Sastha Temples.The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January drawing a huge number of devotees from all parts of the country and abroad.


Legend has it that "Parasurama Maharshi" who retrieved Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, set up the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa.


Pilgrims to Sabarimala worship at the Ayyappa Swami Temple first and then proceed to the main temple. Women between the age group of 10-50 are not permitted for the pilgrimage. Only pilgrims who have observed the penance and carry 'Irumudikkettu' alone are allowed to enter through the Holy 'Pathinettampadi', the 18 Divine Steps to the shrine. The steps signify elements, mind, intelligence etc. Those who cross all these steps are believed to reach 'Punyadarshan'.

The shrine is open only on specific occasions.

• 'Mandalam': 41 days from Mid November to end December

• 'Makaravilakku': mid of January

• Vishu ': mid April,

• 'Prathistha day': May � June

• Onam : August-September

• First five days of every Malayalam month.

Interestingly, Sabarimala temple has no restrictions of caste or creed. Non Hindus are also allowed to conduct pilgrimages to the temple. There is 'Vavar Nada', a shrine in honour of a Muslim Saint close to the Ayyappa Swami Temple.

How To Reach

The easiest route is via Chalakkayam, by which one can reach the banks of the river Pampa which is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala.The nearest international airport is at Thiruvananthapuram . Thiruvalla, 102km.away, is the nearest railway station.