Sabarimala Festival in Kerala(Last Updated 14 Jul, 2022)
Nestled among the hills of the Western Ghats, the Sabarimala Temple is an important religious center. Many pilgrims visit this temple when the Sabarimala Festival is celebrated here each year.
The Sabarimala Festival includes the Makara Villaku Festival and the Mandala Puja Festival. The presiding deity of the Sabarimala Temple is Lord Ayyappa. The people highly revere him.
History of the Sabarimala Festival in Kerala
According to legend, he was born of the union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and is hence symbolic of the unity between Shaivites and Vaishnavites. The Makara Villaku Festival commemorates the day Lord Ayyappa was installed in the Sabarimala temple. The Mandal Puja Festival is a prelude to the Makara Villaku Festival.
Many devotees undertake a pilgrimage tour during the Sabarimala Festival in Kerala. It is one such festival that genuinely reflects the secular spirit of the country. Irrespective of caste, creed, or color, people wear black dhotis and start the steep climb uphill. On the way, they even offer their prayers to Vavar, a Muslim deity. The lord's name is continuously chanted to reduce the strain of the tiring trek.
The Sabarimala Temple is impressively decorated on the occasion of the Sabarimala Festival. On the occasion of the Sabarimala Festival, the ornaments of Lord Ayyappa are brought from the Pandalam Palace in a grand procession. The gorgeously decorated deity, dazzling with jewels, keeps the devotees startled. They religiously offer their prayers to the lord.
On the seventh day of the Makara Villaku festival, Guruthi is celebrated, in which offerings are made to the lord. Therefore, it is customary for no one to remain inside the temple after this day.
When the Sabarimala Festival in Kerala Celebrated
The Sabarimala Festival in Kerala lasts from November to January.
Which pooja is a part of the Sabarimala Festival?
The Mandala Pooja Festival, an essential part of the Sabarimala Festival in Kerala, begins 41 days before the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. It continues for that period of 41 days at a stretch.
The Makara Villaku Pooja Festival, the most important part of the Sabarimala Festival in Kerala, lasts for seven days. It commences on Makar Sankranti, an auspicious Hindu calendar day. It also heralds the beginning of the Malayalam month of Makaram.
If you are planning to celebrate the Sabarimala Festival, then check out our Kerala tour packages.