The traditional path from Erumely to Sannidhanam stretches about 61 km and is a test of endurance for any devotee. However, with Lord’s Blessings it turns into a smooth trek even for the old and weak ones.
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Pamba Vilakku & Pamba Sadya — Community feast offered to Swamis on the bank of holy river Pamba in line with Lord Ayyappa’s vision of treating everyone as equal is held every year before the Makaravilakku. In the evening, after sunset, the devotees sing Bhajans and make lamps that are floated on the river.
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Pandalam Palace is believed to be where Lord Ayyappa spent his childhood after he was adopted by the King during one of his hunting expeditions. Thiruvabharanam of Lord Ayyappa is kept at Srambickal Palace which is close to Valiyakoikkal Temple located in the Palace Premises. We believe that the land of Pandalam is holy as it has the footsteps of the Lord and artifacts like Thiruvabharanam (Holy Ornaments) give more credibility to our beliefs and devotion.
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Devotions reach a feverish pitch when the holy ornaments or Thiruvabharanam are taken out of Valiyakoikkal Sastha Temple for its onward journey towards Sabarimala. (Please check the following video.)
Cutting across Regional, Linguistic and Religious Affiliations, Sabarimala and it’s unique traditions still hold a value in the hearts of millions of devotees across the World….
When Lord Ayyappa desires his devotees to come to Sabarimala and see him there, it covers all the living objects, including animals. An Elephant, named Chirakkal Mahadevan, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa went to Sabarimala along with his mahouts and owner, Chirakkal Madhu after his Kettu Nira was done at Thiruvambady Temple at Thrissur. This is the first ever recorded instance of an Elephant going to Sabarimala after performing the traditional rites. As Lord would want it, the Elephant was transported from Thrissur to Sabarimala in a Truck after the customary stop over at Erumely, as he was a Kanni Swamy, trekked all the way from Pamba to Sannidhanam on foot and climbed through the rear stairs to bow done before the Sanctum (Sree Kovil). Lord wanted him there and no one dared stop that and the mesmerizing stories related to Lord Ayyappa & Sabarimala continues…
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