Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sabarimalai Peruvazhi

Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!!
The pilgrimage to Sabarimalai starts after severe Viratham (fast) for about 41 days. On the day of departure, pilgrims have the ritual of “Irumudi Kattu” or “Kattu Nirai” in which they accept the Irumudi (a bag with 2 portions) from their Guru.

The front portion of the Irumudi consists of the ghee filled inside a 3 eyed coconut. The back portion contains eatables or provisions for consumption during the rigorous trek.

Pilgrims with much devotion carry the Irumudi received from their Guru and leave their homes. While leaving their home, pilgrims neither even bid good bye to their folks nor look back, as it’s believed that once started to Sabarimalai they are in the hands of the Lord Himself. So, one can’t inform his folks that he would be back. They are at the discretion of the Lord which depends on the sincerity of their devotion to God. In Sabarimala pilgrimage, Guru is the supreme of all and pilgrims strictly follow their Guruswamy's instructions throughout their fasting till they reach back home.

The traditional route to Sabarimala by walk starts at Erumeli. This place got its name from Mahishi who was in the form of Eruma (bull), killed by Lord Ayyappan in this forest.

Erumeli can be reached by road from Chengannur or Kottayam, which are well connected by trains.

Pilgrims after reaching Erumeli perform a traditional ritual called Pettai Thullal. Pettai means area and Thullal means Dance. Pilgrims disguise themselves like tribes, with leaves tied on their head applying color powders all over. Dummy weapons like Swords, Bows etc, are carried on their shoulders. They also hire music accompaniments like Dhavil or Chenda Melam and Nadhaswaram with them, chant “Swami Thinthakkathom – Ayyappa Thinthakkathom” and dance along the way for about half a kilometer stretch.

This is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Ayyappan over Mahishi. Also this enables the pilgrims to give up their ego and realize that everyone is the equal in front of Lord Ayyappan.

After this, pilgrims take bath in the nearby pond; get fresh and all set for the Peruvazhi trek. A refreshing bath in cold waters after a tiring dance makes one energetic and prepared for the rigorous walk.

There is a Dharma Saastha temple at Erumeli. Pilgrims gather here at, worship Saastha and then proceed to walk with Irumudi on their head.

From here, pilgrims also visit the Vavar’s Shrine (Mosque) located nearby and worship him before proceeding. In Vavar’s Shrine, Vibhuthi (holy Ash) is given as Prasaadham to devotees.

The Peruvazhi to the temple starts here. A lengthy walk in the forests through night and day on barefoot is a wonderful experience. There are ample refreshment stalls and Thaavalams (called Viri) to stay along the path inside the forest. But don’t expect a great refreshment center there. It’s just a petty shop with PU sheets as the roof and the same sheets on the floor to sit or sleep. You get Lime juice (Naaringa Vellam in Malayalam), Pine apple slices etc., to quench your thirst during the day walk. In the nights or early mornings, you get black tea (Kadunchaaya) or black coffee (Kadunkaapi) made with the available resources. The shop owners bring materials and food stuff along with crockery, by jeep to some extent and on donkeys to the interior forest. Most of the eatables are expensive as the labor charges to bring it inside the forest are tagged to them.

Parathas and Rice Kanji (porridge) with pickles are available for breakfast or lunch. Don’t expect great hygiene. After all you get something to eat in such a dense forest. Also after a strenuous trek for hours, whatever you eat gets digested, is more important. Moreover, the lighter you eat, the better you walk.

There is a proper road for up to about 3-4 kms from the starting point with many rubber estates around. After a walk of about 4 kms on plains, there is a place called Perur Thodu (Thodu means stream) where there is a small stream of a river passing by. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa rested here, on his way to Sabarimala. Pilgrims offer Pori (rice flakes) to the fishes here.

Lord Ayyappan’s Poongavanam (Garden) starts from this place. From here one has to walk through many small ups and downs on the hill range.

Next important point is called Kaalai Katti, which is about 10 kms from here. It’s the place where Lord Shiva came with Parvathi Devi, tied his Kaalai (Rishaba Vaahana or Ox in English) and witnessed Lord Ayyappan defeating Mahishi. As he tied his Kaalai (His carrier) here, the place came to be known as Kaalai Katti.

There are many Thaavalams here to eat and stay. From here, when you walk down for about 2 kms, there flows the sacred river Azhudha. Pilgrims also stay on the banks of Azhudha, as they can bathe in the river before proceeding. Pilgrims also carry a pebble from this river to be offered at Kallidum Kunru.

Azhudha hill starts from here. Azhudha hill is steeper to climb. Pilgrims move upwards, resting often to take a breath. After walking up the hill, one will reach Kallidum Kunru. Pilgrims throw the stone which they picked up from Azhudha River to mark the defeat of Mahishi, as Lord Ayyappan threw huge stones on Mahishi after defeating her, to ensure that she doesn’t come up again.

From here, after another steep climb comes the Azhudha Uchi (peak) which is called Injipparakkotta or Udumbara Mala. There is a small Ayyappan temple here. Also there is another small shrine for Udumbara (a forest God). This is the peak of Azhudha hills where devotees offer worship lighting camphor. Also Vedi Vazhipaadu is done here, in which crackers are burnt in the name of the devotee. This tradition is followed in many places along the way because the noise of the crackers would keep wild animals away.

One has to descend from here to reach a place called Mukkuzhi. There are many Thaavalams (sheds) in Mukkuzhi to rest and to eat. There are small shrines for Sri Ganapathi and Sri Bagavathi here.

After descending further from Mukkuzhi, one will reach a valley like place where a stream of water passes by. This is the foot hill of Karimalai.

The stream flows with Azhudha hill on one side and Karimalai on other side. Many elephants from the forest come here to quench their thirst. This place is called Karivalanthodu (Karivalam Thodu). Kari means elephant, Valam means wander, Thodu means stream of water.

Next starts a lengthy trek on Karimalai, which is the most difficult part of the trek. Many elephants live in this hill and hence it is called Karimalai. Karimalai has about seven levels to cross before reaching the peak. It takes hours to climb up the whole hill to reach atop. The mound near the peak is too steep to climb, where pilgrims constantly chant the name of the Lord to reach the top.

There are many Thaavalams on the top for resting. Pilgrims rest here before proceeding. There are shrines for Sri Karimalanathar, Sri Kochu Kadutha Swamy and Sri Karimala Bagavathy here. Pilgrims worship these deities before proceeding. It is believed that these Gods don’t allow pilgrims beyond this place, who didn’t properly follow the austerities during their Viratham (fast). The holy river Pampa is about 5 kms from here.

After this peak, the descend starts which is more strenuous with rocks and huge trees hurdling the path. After about 3 kms comes Valiyanavattam or Periyanavattam. One will get a good sight of Makara Jyothi from here too. There are many Viris to stay here. After walking another kilometer, comes Siriyanavattam.

Many pilgrims prefer to stay at Periyanavattam or Siriyanavattam as Pampa is too crowded. After descending about a km, one can reach the holy Pampa River on the banks of which Lord Ayyappa was found.

Pilgrims take out the provisions etc, carried on the back portion of their Irumudi and prepare food here. They also feed many other fellow pilgrims. In the Ayyappa cult, Annadhaanam (free feeding) is an important tradition. One can witness Annadhaanam at various places in Pampa. Cooking and feeding the food here is called Pampa Sadhya (Pampa feast).

The first timers to Sabarimala (called Kanni Swamis) go from place to place to collect the ashes from the fire on which the meal is cooked for Annadhaanam. They go from Viri to Viri to collect as much ash possible and this ash is distributed as Prasaadham and also taken back home. It is believed that wherever Annadhaanam is happening, Lord Ayyappan joins a place to eat or feed the pilgrims. Since, one don’t know in which Viri he was present, they collect as much ash possible from various Viris to be taken as Prasaadham.

During the sunset, pilgrims prepare decorated lamps in various shapes made out of bamboo from the forest. They carry it from their Viri up to River Pampa and make it float on Pampa. This is called Pampa Vilakku. It’s a feast to watch so many such lamps floating on the river in the night.

Pilgrims also perform Pithru Tharpanams (annual rites) to their ancestors at the banks of River Pampa, as Pampa is considered equivalent to River Ganga.

After the traditional rituals at Pampa pilgrims again start their treck further towards Sabarimala. Pilgrims, who choose to take the shorter route (Chinna Paadhai), reach by road till here. From here Sannidhaanam is located at about 6 kms.

After crossing Pampa River one has to climb up to visit Kanni Moola Ganapathi temple, which is the first point from here. The main deity here is Sri Pampa Ganapathy or Kanni Moola Ganapathi. Pilgrims break coconut in this temple as a mark of their arrival. Other deities present in the temple are Sri Rama and Sri Anjaneyar.

After crossing this temple there is a small shrine like place meant for Pandala Raja (King of Pandalam). According to legend, as Lord Ayyappan comes from the Pandala dynasty, whoever visits the Lord has to obtain permission from the king or his representative here. Vibhuthi (Ash) is given as Prasaadham here by the Pandala Raja’s representatives.

This is the foot hill of Neelimalai. From here the Neelimalai starts. It is much steeper than all the other hills here. Though there are steps made of stones and many resting places, one has to sweat out to cross Neelimalai. Cardiac patients are advised not to take this trek. There are Cardiac clinics on the way, for emergencies. Also many oxygen parlors are there to freshen up. Pilgrims constantly chant “Yendhividappa – Thookkividappa” (ஏந்தி விடப்பா ! தூக்கி விடப்பா !) while climbing this hill. It means "Oh God! please lift me up".

The place near the top is called Appaachimedu which is too steep to climb. People throw small balls made of Rice flour into the forest at a place called Ippaachikkuzhi, which is next to Appaachimedu. This is believed as the offering made to the Vana Devathas (Godly spirits of the forest). In next few steps the peak (Uchi) is reached.

A few meters from here, Sabari Peetam is reached. This place is connected with Ramayana. It is where an old lady called Sabari did Thapas praying Rama. Sri Rama, on his way to Sri Lanka, visited Sabari at this place and blessed her. Pilgrims worship Sabari here and proceed.

Next place is Saram Kuthi Aal. There was a huge Aalamaram (Banyan tree) on which the first timers bring Saram (a small arrow made of bamboo) and fix it here on the tree to inform their arrival for the first time. The tree is not present here now. According to legend, Lord Ayyappan promised to marry Maaligappurathamman when there are no first timers visiting Sabarimalai. That is when there is no Saram fixed here the marriage would happen. But every year thousands of first timers (Kanni Samis) come to Sabarimalai which is disappointing for Maaligappurathamman.

Sannidhaanam is about 15 minutes walk from here. Near Sannidhaanam there is Karpoora Aazhi. The Ghee carried inside the coconut is offered to the Lord as Abishegam. The broken coconut from which the ghee is taken out is thrown here and burnt. This Karpoora Aazhi starts burning when the season starts in Mid November and burns constantly till the end of the season in Mid January. Lakhs of coconuts, burn day and night. It is also said that, the smoke coming out from the fire in which so many ghee soaked coconuts burn, cleanses the whole atmosphere.

After crossing the Karpoora Aazhi, one will reach the Pathinettaampadi (18 holy steps). At the foot of Pathinettaampadi there are small shrines of Kadutha Swami and Karuppa Swami on either side, who serve as Dwarapaalakas. Adjacent to this pilgrims break a coconut before ascending the 18 holy steps.

Pilgrims raise slogans and chant “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” while ascending the steps, bowing to each step. Only the pilgrims with Irumudi on their head are allowed to ascend the steps. Also people with shirts (or any upper garment) are not allowed. The steps can be used only twice – once to ascend for dharshan and next before leaving the place after dharshan. Even while descending pilgrims have to carry the empty Irumudi on their head.

The Sannidhaanam is located above the holy steps at a height of 40 ft amidst a serene ambience of forests and hills all around. This ancient sanctum is rebuilt after a fire accident in 1950, caused by some miscreants. The original stone idol of the Lord was replaced by a new idol made of Panchaloha (5 metals) which is present now. There is a huge Dwajasthambha (flag staff) in front of the sanctum.

The Lord here is seen in a meditating posture with smiling face, blessing His devotees. The Lord is in sitting posture with his legs folded and tied with a cloth (called Yogappattai). After the dharshan the devotees break the coconuts which they bring to take the ghee out of it and offer to the Lord for Abishegam. It’s a wonderful sight to see the Lord bathed in so much of ghee from early morning till noon. There are no Abishegams performed in the evenings. The Lord appears with grand alankaaram (decorated) with flowers. Except Makara Sankaranthi day, all the other days the God is seen with just a Saffron cloth, a bell around his neck and a Thulasi Maalai (garland made of Thulsi beads).

The other deities present in the temple are Sri Ganapathi and Sri Nagaraja at the south west of the sanctum.

About 100 meters away from the main sanctum, Maaligappurathamman shrine is present.

Here devotees offer their prayers to the Goddess in a unique way by rolling the coconut around this shrine. Pilgrims also bring blouse materials which are kept at the feet of the Goddess and given back. They carry it home as the blessings for the women at home.

The other deities here are Kadutha Swami, Navagraham, Nagaraja (Snake God) and Naga Yakshi (Snake Goddess).

Adjacent to Maaligappurathamman shrine, the temple tank called Bhasma Kulam is situated, where pilgrims take a holy dip. This is where Sabari, who was performing Thapas here, is believed to have entered the fire to end her mortal life. Sabarimalai is named after her only.

There is a separate shrine for Sri Vavar near the Sannidhanam which is called Vavaru Nada. Vavar was a Muslim friend of Lord Ayyappa who was a bandit in the forest. Vavar first had a fight with Ayyappa on His way to Sabarimala. The deity here is as old as the original deity of Lord Ayyappa. According to the available records, Vavar shrine has been renovated sometime in 1905. A carved stone slab is seen here as the deity, with a green silk cloth hung across. There is an old sword displayed in the sanctum.

The layout of the whole temple is believed to be based on the instructions of Lord Ayyappan Himself.

This pilgrimage to Sabarimala ends when the pilgrims reach back home and remove their holy Maalai.

Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!!


  1. hi saravana

    Really sabarimala trip is super.comparing to all, this information is more effective and super.i visited sabarimala through ur will be useful to all done a very good job .keep it up .may god bless u.

    from priyarajmohan

  2. Hi Saravanan,

    Really EXCELLENT job done by you. I saw some of the blogs are available in Tamil. I request you to also post/maintain this blog is tamil. I think that takes your site more popular in south side of tamilnadu of cource all over the world :=).


  3. Thanks Saravanan, for the wonderful narration of Sabarimalai Perum Pathai Trip. It is, as if, we are taking part in the holy pilgrimage.

    Keep going. Have a nice time.

    N Guruvelavan

  4. Thalaiva,kalakiteenga!!!Super aa iruku...Sabarimala poitu vandha feel iruku.... :) :) :)

  5. This is a fantastic, detailed account. The photographs are very evocative, too. Excellent!

  6. getting very popular i see....
    keep it going!


  7. Amazing detailed account of your experience. It is the first of it's kind I have read. Photos at each stage bring it more to life.
    I have a doubt- I am an American and a female, so I will not be able to go to this puja- had you seen any foreigners there? Also, regarding the ghee filled coconut, some years back in Kanchipuram before my friend's mama (this family are residing in Kanchi for many generations) was going to Sabarimala, she and I went to a nearby temple and filled ghee coconuts that were placed in her mama's irumudi. I had to leave Kanchi soon after this but she told me when mama returned he had the ghee filled coconuts- after ghee abhishekham ghee was again refilled in the coconut. She wanted me to stay to have this prashadham, but unfortunately I could not. I did not hear this mentioned in your account, in fact the opposite- having the coconuts broken and husks burnt? Could there be more than one way of doing this ritual?
    Lastly, when does this happen again this year? Nandri.
    PS. One commenter has requested you to write this blog in Tamil. If you decide to do so, please have an additional Tamil version this is for Americans like me who can't follow Tamil and also for Tamils born outside India who don't learn reading and writing Tamil. Nandri

  8. Saravanan!Excellant !

    Jennifer madam,
    Ghee will be taken out from the coconut and given for abhishekham.A portion of this khee will be returned back to us by the priest as prasadham which will be brought home. The husks will be burnt there. I have seen many foreigners at Sabarimalai.Of course only gents. Anybody from any religion can visit and have darshan. Only for climbing through this holy 18 steps irumudi, mala and other vrithams are required. Others can use other steps and reach the temple. This temple is open through out the year as follows.
    Feb to Oct -every month middle 5 days(Malayalam month first 5 days)

    Nov 15 to Jan 20-continuous.(These dates may vary slightly every year)

    But this long route explained in this article is open only for specific days during Nov-Jan period only. During other months from pampa river one has to climb the hill.
    Mani Trichy

  9. very nice....i love this..

  10. Hi brothers
    I am from India (near bangalore) but now live in USA. This year I am planning to visit India. but want to visit sabarimala before i visit my parents. I am not a Hindu and so, I want to visit sabarimala with all the punctuality and dedication for 41 days. Is there a place where I can stay and perform the mala. please reply. thanks

    1. You may contact the person shown in the website provided

    2. There are a few Ayyappa Temples in Bangalore. In the pilgrimage season go there and the Temple authorities will help you. Thee is no need to declare you religion there,everybody irrespective of cast and creed are welcome there.
      Bangalore - Jalahalli (1970)
      Bangalore - HAL Ayyappan Temple
      Bangalore - Sri Rama Temple Road, New Thippasandra
      Bangalore - Subbanna Palayam, Banaswadi Main Road
      Bangalore - Vijanapura, Near KR Puram Rly Stn
      Bangalore - Ayyappan Temple, 9th Cross, Magadi Road 560023
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Munireddypalayam
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Vasantanagar
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Kalasipalayam
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Vannarpet
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Suddhaguntapalayam
      Bangalore - Ayyappa temple, Malleshwaram
      Bangalore - Ayyappa Temple, 7th Block Jayanagar
      Bangalore - Ayyappa Temple, Banashankari
      Coorg - Ayyapppa Temple - Kanoor road, Kothur, South Coorg 571216
      Mysore - Ayyappa Temple - Foot of Chamundi Hills, Ooty Road

  11. Saravana,
    I m really so inspired & felt happy when i m reading this. u ve done a great job. i think dis will be very useful for the pilgrims [Kanni saami] going to sabarimala first time. Keep it up. Thanks.. Give some useful tips & advices to all the ayyappa saami's about the Do's & Dont's .....

  12. Hello Saravana Sir

    Excellent job.

    Swamy Saranam

  13. commendable work done...kudos to you...lord bless.

  14. hi,
    good job done.
    this is my 14th time to sabarimalai but i always took the chinna patthai. this time we decided to go on the long route and for makkara have given a clear description of what we need to expect on the long route.what is the total distance from erumeli to pampa.

    1. 45 km approx. Saranam Ayyappa

    2. exact distance
      From  To  Terrain  Distance  Time
       Erumeli  Perur Thodu  Tar Road  3.2  1 hour 15 min
       Perur Thodu  Top of 2nd Hill enroute Kalaketty  Hilly  3.5
       Top of 2nd Hill enroute Kalaketty  Kalaketty  Plains  7.0  2 hours 30 min
       Kalaketty  Ariyakudi  Plains  4.2  1 hour
       Ariyakudi  Mukkuzhi  Steep Hills  3.5  1 hour
       Mukkuzhi  Karivalanthodu  Ups/Downs - Gradual  8.0  2 hours
       Karivalanthodu  Karimala Peak  Steep Hill  5.0  2 hours 30 min
       Karimala Peak  Periyanavattam  Downhill  4.75  1 hour 10 min
       Periyanavattam  Pamba (Cheriyanavattam)  Plains  2.75  35 minutes
       Pamba  Sabari Peedam (Neelimala, Appachi Medu)  Steep Hill  2.75  2 hours
       Sabari Peedam  Sannidhaanam  Plains  3.75  1 hour

  15. Hi
    This way you took the pilgrimage is having a feeling we are travelling when we are reading the edition. Keep going and please also write about ponnambala medu and makaravilaku festival that the people who is not aware about it.

    R Balaguru

  16. Excellent photos and really good, before 15 years i was visiting Sabarimala by long route, after visiting your page i recollect my long route pilgrimage, thanks, swami saranam



  17. sami saranam ayyapa

    what collection keep up the good work

    thank you

  18. Karthik

    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa

    May Lord Ayyappa give all the health and prosperity for both personal and in profession

    Thank You

  19. hai saravana
    iam a die hard iyappan devottee.....,my name is srinivasan and ur job is spiritually great and our manikandan knows that u need his presence all the time
    samiya saranam iyappa

  20. Hai Saravana

    really its very nice and prooving the real feeling of experieance which you had and shared to us, even this is 14th time and 10 times we used to go peruvazi and past 4 years going chinnapaathai, after reading this and my experiance may god make us to visit peruvazi on next time, may god bless you - Swamiye saranam Iyappa - A. Ganesh -Chitlapakkam

  21. it is a wonderfully super dont miss i love sabarimala ilove ayyappa i love swami i love place i love sannithanam i love varadham i love prasadham i love alangarm ilove ayyappa songs i love photos i love images i love more&more of ayyappan dhashan so, i love ayyappaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    hi saravana

    its really wonderful and amazing trip... i've gone oly in short path ... but now i'm so interested to visit tis long journey... the holy pilgrimage, each and every thing has been clearly and perfectly explained by you with an incidents as an example... really great work you have done:) this will be useful for al devotees who are al first timers and to the devotees who lik to know about holy YATRA:) KAANTHA MALAI JYOTIYE SHARANAM AYYAPPA...... SWAMI SHARANAM... SWAMI SHARANAM... SWAMIYE SHARANAM AYYAPPA

  23. Swami Saranam !!! Saranam Ayyappa!!!

    As perfectly told the long route was much more tough and had real test for your vrutham.

    Today , it has become as a picnic trip and money making process which really disturbs and distracts people like us.

    lets spread the following message to al devotees:

    1) No chewing of Tobacco in any form , Drinks.

    2) Irumudi has to be treated with due respect , passing urine , eating something , talking family matters , talking in mobile should be strictly avoided during the Long Trek.

    3) The idea of sabarimala is to think only god and is beautiful surroundings and not thinking of your family bonding that is why when Irumudi all the closed relatives put three times rice in your irumudi.

    4) dont use adulterated Ghee , this makes the lord more heat.

    5) Dont push and walk during the long route.

    6) dont use crackers after Makara Jyothi

    7) Keep Pamba and surroundings clean

    8) use toilets only.

    9) dont use plastic in the forest, lets leave sabarimala to be seen for our younger generation to come.

    Will write more.

    swamiye saranam ayyappa.

  24. Hi Saravanan

    Your description of the route from Erumeli to Sannidhanam is very nice, beautiful and useful. Although some Ayyappa devotees have explained about the route, I got now only a complete picture. I had gone few times through Pampa route for Ayyappan Darshanam with my brothers; but this is first time myself and younger brother have planned to go through Peria Pathai along with one Chennai Group for Ayyappa Darshanam. With Sabarimalai Ayyappan's blessings and your valuable description of the route,we hope that our journey to Sabaraimalai during the first week of January 2010 will be enjoyable.

    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.

  25. Sami Saranam, all the pictures and details tells us everything abt Sabari Mala yathra. this will be very useful for new samies/kanni samies. Thanks a lot, may god bless you.

    C. Mageshwaran/Nirmala Devi

  26. Swamiye Saranam Iyappa..

    Excellent Mr.Saravanan. The pictures are too good and it gives clear cut idea for those who are Kanni swamis. God bless you Saravanan!




  29. very good jod sir vishva

  30. your explanation of Sabarimalai has made the Sabarimalai in our Bommai Golu complete in New Zealand. It was of great help to bring the details to our setting of Sabarimalai. Thank you Saravan.

  31. I am a Kanniswamy now and will be going to Sabarimala 7 Jan 2011. This websites gives me strength and increases my worship to Lory Ayyappa. Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.

  32. He is a cruel deity! He killed 102 people at Vandipperiyar! I will never worship him!

  33. Sorry! I am sorry to you Ayyappa! I called you cruel deity!

  34. may our God lord Ayyappa to visit sabarimala again and again

  35. Dear Saravanan,

    Superb we friends had a either way of going to sabrimala (periya or chinna padai) after seeing your blog we have made our mind to Periya padai.

    Keep it up

    Have a good time

  36. This is a great work done from you Ayyappa (Saravanan). Its going to help many ayyappans like us. Definately Ayyappan Swamy will be really happy from your help, that you have done to others.

    Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa!!!!!!

  37. Sir , very elaborative description with pictures. Very useful tip to first time goers.

    Good work and keep it up.



  38. very excellent job done by u
    may god bless u for ever

  39. Very Nice post...
    Its very helpful 4 all Kanni's Swami...
    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!!!

  40. wonderful narration of Sabarimalai,I m really so inspired & felt happy when i m reading this,Good work and keep it up.

    sai sundaram.

  41. Thank you for the fantastic work and detailed description. As many of the viewers had said, it is really generating the feeling that we are part of this perum pathi yathrai.

  42. Good description of your experience. I always look forward to my periya paathai trip every year and swamis who had done this trip only know the importance and experience of this trip. Ayyappa darshan after peria paathai trip is an emotional moment not only for me all his devotees.

    Some important practices: Pettai thullal at Eerumeli and visit to vavur sami and a visit pettai sastha after shower is a must. Swamis supposed to give alms before entering Ayyappa's poongavanam before peroor. Atleast give some pori to fishes found in peroor thodu. Take a dip at azhutha river and pick up some pebbles from the river to be thrown at kallidum kunnu where mahishi is immersed under the pebble heap. A dip at pamba is a must. Some do's and don'ts. Please carry a torch and some spare batteries. Don't unnecessarily focus your torch on the areas other than the path during night as it might attract the attention of animals. Don't speak loudly. Don't litter waste materials particularly plastic. Don't eat solid food items like rice, etc and eat fruits instead. Orange colored bags for iru mudi for first timers. It would be better if first timers take peria paathai. Better to avoid karimalai irrakkam after midnight as is infested with elephants or rather go in group instead with chanting sarana gosham. Anyway ayyappa is always there to guide his devotees in his poongavanam.

  43. Hi Saravanan,

    It is a very fantastic presentation. While reading your description we feel as though we are all climbing together and you are explaining each and every thing step by step. Good job. God bless you Saravanan. Have a healthy and a wealthy life.


    Rakesh C R

  44. It is not a ordinary incident.
    It is a vaibavam.
    Saravanan, It is my 5th peuvazhi...
    still I dont know the full route
    I used to ask when karimala will come.
    Really a great remebrance for those who walk in night like me.....
    Words cant explain every thing and those who went for more years also dont remember fully....

    Balaji Nagarajan Senthil,Surya Gurusamy..Mumbai

  45. What an wonderful narration..thanks a ton..

  46. Thanks a lot for your narration of the great Sabarimala.

    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!

  47. Very very excellent information given. thanks

  48. Swamiyae Saranam Ayyappa

    We four of us would like to see Swami's Dhivya Dharisanam by periya paathai. Can anyone help me for a Guruswamy who will help us to take there? from Chennai to Sabarimala. any contacts, mobile no, travels details or any friends who will travel via periyapaathai...!!!

    Kindly help us..!!

  49. sami saram
    good info.. this is going to be my 4th trip.. but first time for periya pathai.
    samiyae saram iyyappa.

  50. Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa....
    Vaazhga Valamudan Saravanan...

  51. Blog is really good and useful specially for Kanni Swami's....

    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!!!!!

  52. Thanks for this classic explanation allowing every reader to make a virtual journey before taking a real one. Very important for anyone visiting sabarimalai is minimum 41 days observance of vrithum.No short cut please. Though people wear mala same day and go, this is just to fake the world - not a valid yatra. The more sincere we adhere to vrithum is proportional to the easiness in trekking the path. Its up to one's conscious decision to take this yatra in full spirit - the satisfaction one gets after completing the yatra as per rules cannot be explained in words. The experience says it all. Saranam Ayyappa

  53. just i returned from sabarimalai yesterday ie 10th Jan 2012, this time i went thru peruvazhi, its really good but it was tough. But had a quick darshan on the grace of iyeppa and e booking, which is a excellent system.

    I don't remember many places i went thru big path to make me remember the above guidance is very good.

    Samiyae charanam iyeppa.

    Balaji - Chennai

  54. Very Nice blog with nice pictures and narration is really good.

    Swamiye Saranam Aiyappa.

  55. Excellent write-up.

    Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa...

  56. aboutperuvazitharsanam yournarration are very nice and good. thosepeople comes swamy darshan will follow the viratham strictly means they get god blessing difinately

  57. Swamy saranam, god bless u.
    One question , i will be on a yatra to sabarimala next week for monthly puja. Is there kettunira service available at Pamba?

  58. Thanks, It is really good one, i wull give this URL if any kanni sami wants information about this. Please add more about viritham also, it would help kanni samies.Once again thanks to tooks us to sabarimalai. Let we all will pray ayyappa to give blessing to see him all the years without any problem. Swamiya Saranam Ayyappa......

  59. With Blessing of Lord Ayyappa I will reach erumeli on December 15. Will I be able to take the periya padhai route to see the divine lord

  60. With the blessing of Lord Ayyappa I will reach Erumeli on December 15. Will I be able to take the Periya Padhai route to see the divine lord

  61. Madhavan....I dont think you can go by periya padhai on dec 15th itself...for the periya vayi opens in jan only.

    Can somebody tell me if my planning is okay.

    13th Jan - Kottayam - 2.30 PM
    Erumeli - 4.30 PM
    Start climbing from Erumeli - 5 PM
    Reaching kallketti or Azhutha banks by night.. & stay till morning. [Will we able to walk in the darkness between 5 PM to say 11 or 12 PM ???...please tell me]

    14th Morning - Start from azhutha banks

    and by 14th night reach Karimala top [or] Valliyanavattom.

    [Tell me...will I be able to see Jyothi on 14th evening from Valliyanavattam if I start from Azhutha banks on 14th morning ???.....or is it difficult ?? ]

    And 15th morning start from Karimala top ....come down to Pamba by afternoon. And finally see Darshan on 16th.

    1. Is this okay..doable ??

    2. Please answer the two questions asked in between.....[my entire palnning depends on those 2 questions]

    Thanks in advance.


  62. Swami saranam ,

    Its all blessing, Really all of them are have to feel the lord ayyapan

  63. Balasubramani

    swami saranam ayyappa .... it is helpful for all ayyappa devotes.... God is great job done by you.

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  66. believe in ayyappa ayyappa alwalys helps u