Introduction: Hello freinds today we are back with a wonderful information on Sabarimala pilgrimage tour. Sabarimala Temple is an important pilgrimage center in India as well as Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyapa. Sabarimala is located in Pathanamthita district in Kerala. Unlike other Hindu temples, Sabarimala has no caste and creed. It is set at an altitude of 914m above sea level. Pilgrims should trek over 4 Km from Pamba to reach the shrine. Sabarimala is the largest in India and the second largest in the world where more than 30 million pilgrims visit the temple. What are we waiting for? Let’s start Sabarimala pilgrimage.
A step by step guide to Sabarimala pilgrimage tour
It is located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve and is located on the riverbank of Pampa. The temple shelters the famous idol AyyapaSwamy who is the son of Shiva and Mohini. The feminine incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Women of age 12-50 years (who are under fertility age) are not allowed inside the temple, but the Supreme Court overturned the restriction recently. The temple is situated in the 18 hills in the dense forest. Pilgrims have to trek up the mountains from Plapalli then to Aangaamuzhi next to Muzhiyaar and finally to Sabarigiri Road.
History of Sabarimala
Sabarimala in Puranas refers to Sabari’s Mountain Range- who is a mythological character in Ramayana. The shrine of Sabarimala is an ancient one and is believed that the prince of the Pandalam Dynasty- an avatar of Ayyapan meditated at Sabarimala Temple and became one with the divine. As per the temple history, the Sastha temple at Sabarimala is one of the five Sastha temples founded by Lord Parasurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The other Sastha temples in this group of five includes the Ayyappan Temples at Kulathupuzha, where the Sastha appears as a Balaka or child; at Aryankavu where the lord appears as a Brahmachari or young man; at AchankovilShastha Temple, where the lord leads the GrihasthaAshrama life here and depicted along with his two wives – Purna and Pushkala at Sabarimala, where the lord is depicted in the Vanaprastha or form of renunciation; at PonnambalaMedu the lord appears as a “makaravilaku”.
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Best time to visit Sabarimala
The temple is most crowded in the Malayalam month which comes between November to January. During Mandalapooja and MakarSankranthi, many pilgrims visit Sabarimala to offer prayers to Ayyapa Swami. The best time to visit Sabarimala is November to end of January and September to April is also preferred by many devotees due to the climatic conditions.
How to reach Sabarimala
You can reach Sabarimala either by airways, railways or roadways. Each of them is informed below:
The nearest International and Domestic Airports to Sabarimala includes- Cochin International Airport and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which are 104 Km and 113 Km respectively away from Sabarimala. Domestic Airports include Kochi Airport where special shuttles operate to Sabarimala. The helicopter services are also available in Cochin Airport where Chipsan Aviation operates scheduled helicopter services to Perunad which is very near to Sabarimala.
The nearest railway station includes Kottayam, Thiruvalla, and Chengannur which is around 90 Km away from Pamba. The major Sabari Rail-line is under construction, where they are planning to create a special railway station in Sabarimala.
There are many direct bus services available from Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru. Buses are also available frequently from cities like Kottayam, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Mangalore& Madurai; and also provides chain services during Mandalapooja to cater the pilgrim crowds to Sabarimala. This popular pilgrimage is well connected to other cities like Goa, Mangalore, Mumbai through Kochi NH-66 and Bengaluru, Chennai and Coimbatore through Thrissur NH-544.
Places to visit in Sabarimala
The popular places to visit in Sabarimala includes Ayyapa Temple, Makaravilakku, Malikkappuram Devi temple, Vavar shrine, Pampa Ganapathy temple, Erumeli, etc.
Festivals in Sabarimala
Makaravilakku is the most important festival in Sabarimala which is a 7-day festival and begins on the day of MakaraSankranthi. According to the Puranas, it was said that the idol of Dharma Shasta was enshrined in the temple on this day. The major highlight of this festival is MakaraJyoti, a star that is worshipped by millions of pilgrims all over the world especially in India on the day of MakaraSankranthi. This festival is concluded with a ritual called Guruthi, where all the offerings were done to Gods and Goddess of wilderness and nobody is allowed to stay in and around the premises of the temple after Guruthi. The other festivals celebrated in Sabarimala are Onam, Mandalapooja, and Vishnu Vilakku.
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Restaurants and local cuisines available in Sabarimala
Along your journey to Sabarimala, many small restaurants are serving the famous Keralan Cuisine. As the place is surrounded by many attractions there might lack significant food culture and hence it is advised to carry your food.
Stay in Sabarimala
There are many hotels available in Sabarimala to stay. You can opt for the budget-friendly or luxurious or homestay based on your budget available. You can also book the hotels online by going through the reviews and photographs of the rooms and stay. The top budget hotels in Sabarimala- Jungle Palace Home Stay; Morley’s PLACE-Noah’s Nest Tree house; Neema Homes: executive double rooms; The Bachelors Hub; Hornbill cottage Monkeys with morning breakfast; WILD WINDOW -King size bed -Forest view -Thekkady; Coffee and Pepper Plantation Home Stay; Mundakal Paradise Thekkady, Zeus Garden; Greenteahills : Camping in vagamon, urumbikkara; Special Family Homestay for get together; Kairali palace Home stay; Monsoon Retreats – Perfect for Bird Watching; Cozy Balcony Room With Separate Entrance; Tamarind Rooms set in the midst of the hills; Live in traditional Kerala style – Budget Room; Eagle Rock Holiday Villas; KriscalKabin Tree House@ Morley’s Place; WILD WINDOW -Double bed with Diwan-Thekkady; Wildernest B & B; Serenity of Security @ BlessDale; Thekkady Homestay; Live in traditional Kerala style – Deluxe Room; Misty Villas: Where clouds touch the earth; Summer cottage; Aranya Homestay 3 rooms, Thekkady; Cozy, Spacious 2 rooms at Oriole Homestay; vagamon/munnar experiences: fun and adventure with us; private room at Misty green homestay; Jolly Homes, etc.
Sabarimala Tour Packages
There are many tour packages available to Sabarimala from different cities which include- Sabarimala tour packages from Bengaluru; Sabarimala tour packages from Chennai; Sabarimala tour packages from Guntur; Sabarimalayatra packages from Hyderabad; Sabarimala travels package from Bengaluru; Sabarimala tour packages from Visakhapatnam; Sabarimala tour packages from Kottayam; and many more which you can find in the Sabarimala tour list. IRCTC tour packages to Sabarimala are also available from Chennai. The other tour packages include- Sabarimala temple pilgrim which is a 2 days tour; Kerala Sabarimala tour for 4 days, and many other tour packages are also available in the official website of Sabarimala which is called Travancore Devasom Board where you can find all the details like pooja timings, accommodation, vehicle bookings, packages, pilgrim center to visit and many more.
That’s all folks about Sabarimala pilgrimage tour and best time to visit Sabarimala. Incase you want good credit cards for your next tour, try Credit Cards for Travel Benefits.