India comprises 29 states and 7 union territories. Each state is famous for its unique beauty. India is accredited as a diversified country in the world. It is one of the few countries that respect different cultures by celebrating their festivals. Among all the states Kerala always stands on the top position due to its serenity and unique beauty. Even though it is lying in the southernmost portion of the country Kerala always highlights their specialities to the world. The state is highly populated with literate people with females in large numbers. The state is credited with many titles such as it is regarded as the perfect place for travellers to rejuvenate their body and soul by availing of Ayurveda therapies and various herbal treatments. There are many ways to explore the stunning beauty of nature. One could indulge in various adventure activities such as canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, paragliding and so on. Also to witness the glowing charm of nature one could avail of tour packages at reasonable price from the travel operators. A voyage in the houseboats through the tranquil backwaters will gift immense pleasure and could also enchant the treasure of nature. The various species of flowers, trees and also the varieties of amazing animals and birds decorate the state in colours. Many people visit the state to not only to be part of captivating nature but also to visit the religious centres to learn about the architectural styles. The state is famous for a large number of pilgrim centres most of them have been recognized worldwide. And one among them is the famous Sabarimala pilgrim centre. The following paragraphs will help to study more about the Sabarimala and its peculiarities.
Sabarimala is a famous pilgrim situated in the Pathanamthitta district in Kerala? For one or another reason, the temple has always found a place in media. The temple is equally famous for spiritual activities as well as for many controversies. There is a story behind the construction of the Sabarimala temple. There are many Shasta temples in various parts of the world. As per the religious belief, the Shasta temple in Sabarimala was built by Lord Parasurama. For about 3 centuries worshipers were not able to access the temple. And the road to the temple was unknown to many. People were very sad and were hopeless. Finally lord almighty heard their prayers. In Pathanamthitta district once lived a famous king called Rajashekara Perumal. He and his wife Mohini were very generous but they were childless. Once the King was strolling through the forest accidentally met an infant. The baby was adorned with a gold necklace with a bell at its end. The holy sage who passed that way said that this boy has some supernatural powers and that would be revealed when he turns 10 years. However, the King took him to the palace and started loving like his own child. He named him ‘Manikandan’ which means ‘a gold chain with a small bell around the neck’. After several years the King and Queen were blessed with a son. The family grew larger. For higher studies, he was sent to the forest. Over there he started to do miracles and many became his followers. It is believed that the infant was born from the amalgamation of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The main aim of Manikandan was to kill a demon called Mahisa who not only troubled innocent people on earth but also gods in heaven and the second motive was to disclose the path to the Sastha temple.
Slowly Manikandan became very famous and all started to love and like his teachings. Such activities made the queen jealous and gradually she started to dislike him. She wanted to kill Manikandan. Therefore she acted like ill when the prince Manikandan visited she asked him to bring tiger milk from the uninhabited forest. Even though he knew the task is terrifying he obeyed his mother’s command and decided to fulfil her wish. He then went to the forest. All in the palace thought he would be killed by the furious wild animals. But to everyone’s surprise, the prince returned to the palace with tigers. Queen along with the disciples admitted their mistake and apologized for the same. Later he went back to the forest and killed the demon Mahisa he asked his father to build a temple where his arrow falls and this is how the Sabarimala temple was founded and therefore a way to the Shasta temple situated in the Sabarimala revealed to everyone. Later prince took the avatar of Ayyapan and meditated on the hilltop and died one day. The place where he meditated is known as ‘Sanidhanam’.
From then till now every year more than lakhs of pilgrims visit the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Ayyapan. Still, people like to visit the temple barefooted. People who wanted to visit the temple will have to take 41 days of ‘Vritham’ or ‘Deeksha’. During these, the pilgrims will have to follow certain rules. They are supposed to savour only vegetarian dishes that should cut their nails or hair. Should bathe twice a day and visit the temple regularly and must recite the prayers or ‘Bhajans’ like ‘Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa’. Also, they should avoid alcohol, meat, and sex. On the final day of Deeksha, the devotees will pack a bag called ‘irrumudi’ it comprises ghee, incense sticks, and coconut. This combination is called ‘irrumudi kettu’. It is a rule that the bag should not touch the ground. There are mainly three colours for the bag. A devotee who is visiting the Sabarimala for the first should use red colour. Blue coloured bags can be used three times. Devotees who visit the temple more than three times should use saffron-coloured bags. During the trip, devotees should recite hymns. The actual journey starts from the bottom of the mountain through which Pampa River flows. Devotees will have to climb only 18 steps of the temple which is painted in gold colour. On reaching the 18th step devotees will have to wait until the door is opened to view the idol of Lord Ayyappan. Females of mensurating age are exempted to visit the temple.
The above are the few interesting facts about the Sabarimala. To learn more about the pilgrim centres in Kerala one could avail of tour packages from Dream Holidays. They curate packages for people from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. So what are you waiting for? Grab the packages as soon as possible.