Festival - Sabarimala Temple Festival: Must See India
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Sabarimala Temple Festival

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Being a secular country, India witnesses the presence of a vast variety of religions and sects. Festivals are dedicated and celebrated catering to each and every religion, and one amongst them is the Sabarimala Temple Festival that is held every year between November and January. The festival is dedicated to Lord Ayyappan, and the festivities and religious ceremonies are held at his temple located in Sabarimala atop the Sahayadhri Mountains in the state of Kerala.


This festival is one of the most popular festivals and attracts a huge number of devotees not only from India but also from abroad.The main deity Lord Ayyappa is an embodiment of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Although women between the ages of 10 and 50 years are not allowed to enter owing to religious reasons, people from all religion are welcome at the temple. There is also a small ‘Dargah’ dedicated to the Muslim Saint ‘Vavar’, who is believed to be a good friend and Lieutenant of the Lord.

Before proceeding to the temple, the devotees go on a 41-day religious ceremony, wherein they wear black dhotis, abstain from wearing footwear, eating non-vegetarian food, smoking, drinking and family life.

Unlike other temples, the temple at Sabarimala is not open throughout the year. The temple is open for a few days on the 1st of each Malayalam month (approximately the middle of each English Calendar Month) and during the pilgrimage season lasting between mid-November and mid-January. The season culminates with the legendary and mysterious MakaraJyothi, which is a celestial light that appears in the in the mountain range called Ponnambalamedu; facing the temple is believed to bring good fortune to those who witness it.

Tourist Essential

As this is a very pious and holy event; tourists are rarely seen at the temple. Owing to the temple remaining closed most of time, and the thick forest region and arduous journey involved in reaching the temple, many tourists flock only to the base of the mountain and not the summit. However, the devout are welcome to engage in the religious activities and seek the blessings of Lord Ayyappan. Nevertheless, tourists can explore the length and breadth of scenic Kerala promoted as ‘God’s Own Country’.


by Kapil
by Kapil