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Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple

One of the most ancient temples in Kerala, the Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple in Pathanamthitta is believed to have been consecrated by Lord Parasurama at the foot of Sabari hills. The temple attracts pilgrims from the country and abroad. Perhaps, the most important feature of the temple is that it is open to everybody, irrespective of religion or social standing.

The temple is tucked away in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats and can be reached only by foot. Pilgrims have to go through narrow tracts in thick forests infested with wild animals.

The pilgrimage to Sabarimala is usually undertaken between November to January with January 14 being the most important day. Those wishing to perform pilgrimage have to undergo 41 days penance comprising strict celibacy and daily prayers.

On that day, thousands of pilgrims go to the shrine for worship. And in the evening when they see a strange light in the hill far away, they feel they have witnessed the presence of God.

Situated not far from the is a shrine in the name of Vavar, a Muslim, who was thought to be a close aide of Sri Ayyappa. It is a rare experience to see Hindu devotees worshipping at the shrine of Vavar indicating the communal harmony in Kerala.

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