Ayyappa Temple

Ayyappa Temple Travel Map

The Ayyappa Temple also known as the Sabarimala Temple is one of the major tourist attractions of Sabarimala. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and forms a part of the most ancient Sastha temples in India. This temple is located on the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District in Kerala. This temple is also one of the few Hindu temples that are opened to all faiths and religions. Despite of being a remote sightseeing destination, this temple attracts up to four million pilgrims every year. The site of this temple is considered to be the place where Lord Ayyappa meditated. Lord Ayyappa also known as Manikantan is said to be the son of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna in the Mohini form. The path to reach this temple includes 18 steps for each sanctum Santorum. Each of these steps symbolizes 18 feelings or 18 miseries associated with the human life. This is why this temple is considered to be a present day example of equality, fraternity, tolerance and humanity. The location of this temple also provides a clear view of the Western Ghats. Makaravilakku is a significant and popular devotional view of this Temple seen on every 14 January. This day is celebrated Makaravilakku day on which a jewel casket is brought from the Pandalam Palace and the idol of Lord Ayyappa is adorned with them. It is a common belief that an auspicious bird named Garuda hovers over this jewel procession. Makara Jyothi, which is a star, also appears in the sky during the evening pujas performed on this occasion.

Kerala, India

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