Sabarimala temple is located on the top of the hills of the Western Ghats. The holy shrine in Sabarimala is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. Thousands of devotees visit Sabarimala during the months of November-January when the main festival takes place.The devotees who visit the temple during the festival walk barefoot through the uneven road to reach the temple. Before taking the trip the devotees fast and surrender themselves to the will of God for 40 days. They do not drink or smoke, eat selected food, sleep on the floor and stay away from women and family during this period. Irrespective of caste and creed they wear black dhotis and carry offerings like coconut filled with ghee, camphor and rice.

People take a dip in the river on their way to the temple. It is believed that people who take a dip in the holy waters of the river are cleansed of all sins. People also visit the Muslim God on their way to Sabarimala who is believed to be a close friend of Lord Ayyappa. People start chanting the Lord’s name on witnessing a glowing flame on the hill opposite the temple. Mandala Pooja festival is an important part of Sabarimala festival. It begins 41 days before Makar Sankranti and continues for 41 days. Makara Villaku Pooja Festival is the most important part of the festival and lasts for seven days. The temple is remains open to males of all age groups and to women who either have passed their fertility age and those before reaching the stage of puberty.

Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The sanctum sanctoram nestles 914 m above sea level, amidst the virgin forest wilderness of the Western Ghats.This temple is nestled in the Sabari Hills. The Sabari Hills are a part of the Western Ghats and are located in Kerala. This particular temple attracts more than 3 million devotees every year. The Sabarimala pilgrimage attracts thousands of devotees from all over India during the peak season of November to January.

Not everyone can take a tour to Sabarimala Kerala. One needs to observe strict discipline like abstinence from alcohol, smoking and other comforts of life. You are supposed to lead life like an ascetic for 41 days before embarking on the journey to Sabarimala. Women between the ages of 10-50 are not allowed to go on this pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is open to all irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It sets a perfect example of harmonious co-existence of different religions and sects. Everyone is a devotee of the Lord, not Hindu, Muslim or Christian. Before reaching the temple, everyone is supposed to worship a shrine that is dedicated to a Muslim saint.

The temple is reached by climbing a flight of 18 steps covered in gold. These 18 steps signify different aspects of human nature like intelligence, anger, the 5 senses, etc. One who crosses these 18 steps is said to have attained "Punyadarshanam". In January every year, thousands of devotees gather at Sabarimala to view the "Makaravilaku" or divine flame that is visible during one particular day of the Makara star. When dusk falls, a small flame arises in a distance, between two hills just opposite the temple. The temple comes alive with the praises of the Lord filling the air.

Location info:

Address:Sahyadri Ranges, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India
District: Pathanamthitta District
Nearest City:Trivandrum,Vachoochira,Adoor,Ernakulam,Mallapally,Kozhencherry,Erumeli.
Best time to visit:November to January.


The climate is tropical and humid, And the Weather temparature ranges from Summers: 36°-20°; Winters: 16°-32°C.


The story behind this temple has it that when Lord Vishnu took the form of the enchantress Mohini to destroy the demon Bhasmasura, Lord Shiva was enamored by this celestial femininity. Their divine union resulted in the birth of Ayappa. The Lord Shiva entrusted the child Ayappa (also called Manikandan because of the bell tied around his throat) to the Pandya King Rajasekara. He benevolent king brought up the divine child as his eldest son, and declared him Crown Prince when he was 12 years old. The Queen however, had evil intents. Wanting her own son to be crowned, she feigned an incurable headache. The queen let Prince Manikandan know that her condition could only be cured if the prince returned with a tigress’ milk. The obedient son let home. Lord Ayappan in the course of his mission is known to have fought and slain demoness Mahishi. The Devas or celestial beings turned into tigers and tigress and accompanied the young prince to show their gratitude. The sight of a twelve year old child riding a tiger and accompanied by an ambush of tigresses shamed the royal couple who sought forgiveness. After blessing his foster parents, the lord prepared to return to his heavenly abode when the king begged him to remain in the Pandya kingdom. Lord Ayappa granted the king’s boon and agreed to reside in the temple built by the king on the Sabari hills. He also conceded to appear in the form of a star (Makara Jyothi) on the Festival of Makara Sankaranthi. It is hence believed that the ancient temple of Sabarimala, with the sacred 18 steps was built under the orders of King Rajasekara.

Interesting things to do:

Its Better to visit this temple on 14th jan, beacause Makara Jyothi a divine flame that is visible during this day and you can do Bhajana's to the God Ayyappa.

Interesting things to Visit:


This is a township in Pathanamthitta District. It is one among the fastest growing towns in Kerala, India. It is considered as a holy town. Pandalam is also a well known educational and health care centre in central Travancore.Pandalam hosts a lot of educational institutions ranging from reputed schools to Post Graduate, Training, Ayurveda, Medical and Engineering Colleges.

Pampa Maha Ganapathi Temple:

The Mahaganapathi Temple at Pampa 8 Kms from Sabarimala, has an important roll in the Sabarimala pilgrimage as it is the main halting point. The temple is reached by climbing about 102 steps. Breaking of coconuts is the main offering here. Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabareepeedam, Saramkuthi are the other holy places enroute.

Pandalam Valiyakoyickal Temple:

Located 15 kms away from Pathanamthitta on the banks of Achankovil river, is the Valiyakoyickal Temple of Sri Dharma Sastha. Believed to be constructed by the Raja of Pandalam, this Ayyappa shrine has been modeled on the Sabarimala temple. Pilgrims usually stop here to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. One of the major events associated with the 'Makaravilaku' festival is the procession carrying the 'Thiruvabharanam' (sacred ornaments) of Lord Ayyappa from the Valiyakoyical temple to Sabarimala. This is performed three days prior to makaravilakku.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:

Kottayam Railway Station and Chengannura Railway Station.

Nearest Airport:

There are Two Airports Trivandrum (170 kilometers) and Cochin (200 kilometers).

Road Transport:

Both the State run KSRTC and Private Luxury Bus operators connect Pathanamthitta to other cities.
There are daily direct bus services to Mumbai, Chennai & BangaloreFrequent buses are available to cities like Kottayam, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Mangalore & Madurai.

Nearest Visiting places:


Ayiroor Cherukolpuzha religious convention of the Hindus is held at Cherukole on the banks of River Pamba, usually in Feb every year. This famous convention is attended by a large number of people and addressed by prominent religious scholars and cultural personalities.

Malikapurathamma Temple:

Malikappurathamma Devi temple alias Malikapuram Temple is situated on a small hill just 100 meters away from Sabarimala. According to legend, Malikapuram temple is the place where the demon Mahishi rests in eternal wait. The temple complex houses the shrines of the Devi and Kaduthaswamy and also the the shrines of the snake god, Nagaraja and goddess, Nagayakshi. Here coconuts are offered only after rolling them on the ground.

Perunthenaruvi Waterfalls:

The Perunthenaruvi Waterfall from Pathanamthitta via Vachoochira on the banks of the Pamba River about 10 km from Erumely, Perunthenaruvi is about 36 km from Pathanamthittais a natural fall down a rocky path into a ravine about 100 feet deep. Ideal for an outing, this place is a popular picnic spot.
Perumthenaruvi which literally means honey river, is a picturesque tourist spot situated in Erumely, It is a favourite picnic spot among the tourists, with an awesome view of water cascading from a rocky path at a height of 60 to 100 ft.


The powerful ancient church situated at Niranam, dates back to 52AD. This monument is believed to have been erected by Apostle St.Thomas and is considered the oldest Christian church.

Konni (Elephant Training Center):

The hilly area of Konni, located 11 km from Pathanamthitta, is the gate-way to the forest bordering the district. Surrounded by acres of thick forest, it is an adventurous tourist spot where one can go for thrilling elephant safaris and trekking. Konni has the largest number of wild elephants in the state and is a major elephant training center. In the past, wild elephants caught from the forests were brought here and put in wooden cages known as 'anakoodu' (Elephant Cage) till they were properly trained. After 1972, elephant hunting was stopped since the central government put an end to this crude old method of elephant catching and training.

Aranmula Boat Race:

The stretch of river Pamba at aranmula is the venue of the famous snake boat race. It is more a pageantry than a race. The snake boat is of an exrtra ordinary shape with a length of about 100ft. The rear portion towering to a height of about 20ft. and the front portion tapering gradually. The boat resembles a snake with its hood raised. the race is held on the last day of the week long Onam festival to commemorate the crossing of the river by Lord Krishna. The participants cheerfully row up and down the river to the tune of songs known as Vanchippattu.


Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, a Saint of Malankara Orthodox Church is burried here. This is also a famous Christian pilgrim centre . The orma perunnal (Remembrance Day) is celebrated during November every year.

Nearest Petrol Pump:

Eraviperoor Petrol pump
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

HP Petrol Pump
Adoor, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

Petrol Pump
Mylapra, Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Petrol Pump
Pampa, Tel: +91-4735-203346.


Hotel Amala

Park Hotel
Kozhencheri, Pathanamthitta

Hotel Lals Residency
Puimoodu junction NH 220, Adoor
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Hotel Italia
Adoor, Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Things to carry:

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:

Police station
Pandalam, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

Police Station
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Nearest Hospital:

Changethu Bhaskaran Nair Memorial Hospital
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Kerala 689645 - Tel:09447364380

Muthoot Medical Centre
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Poyyanil Hospital
Kozhencherry, Pathanamthitta, Kerala.

Government Hospital
Elanthur, Elanthoor
Pathanamthitta, Kerala.


Society/Community Phone Number:




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Achankoil River
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Pamba River
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Aranmula Temple
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Kaviyoor Rock Cut Cave Temple
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Perumthenaruvi Waterfall
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