Every year millions of Ayyappa devotees travel to sabarimala for completing their deeksha and seek blessings from Lord Ayyappa. Located on the adobe of Sabari Giri, Ayyappan Temple is opened periodically once a month based on the temple calendar.
The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple is located at Sabarimala inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Perinad Village, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India. It is one of the largest annual pilgrimage sites in the world with an estimate of over 40 to 50 million devotees visiting every year. The temple is dedicated to lord Ayyapa, who is the son of Shiva and Mohini (the feminine incarnation of Vishnu). The temple is also well known as Dharma Shasta,
The temple is situated on a hilltop amidst eighteen hills at an altitude of 480 m (1,574 ft) above sea level, and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests. The dense forest, part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, around the temple is known as Poongavanam. Temples exist in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. While functional and intact temples exist at many places in the surrounding areas like Nilakkal, Kalaketty, and Karimala, remnants of old temples survive to this day on remaining hills.
Most of the devotees will take up Ayyappa Deeksha starting with the month of September and ends their deeksha with January every year. So, the vital time to visit sabarimala is between September & January 14. The detailed information about the opening and closing dates of the sabarimala temple, monthly poojas along with the dates has been provided below.
|Month||Pooja||Opening date||Closing date|
|February 2020||Monthly Pooja (Kumbham)||13-02-2020||18-02-2020|
|March||Monthly Pooja (Meenam)||13-03-2020||18-03-2020|
|April||Utsavam Aarattu – Painkuni Uthram||07-04-2020|
|Vishu Mahotsavam (Medam)||10-04-2020||18-04-2020|
|May||Monthly Pooja (Edavam)||14-05-2020||19-05-2020|
|Prathistha Dinam / Idol Installation Day||31-05-2020||01-06-2020|
|June||Monthly Pooja (Midhunam)||14-06-2020||19-06-2020|
|July||Monthly Pooja (Karkitakam)||15-07-2020||20-07-2020|
|August||Monthly Pooja (Chingam)||16-08-2020||21-08-2020|
|September||Monthly Pooja (Kanni)||16-09-2020||21-09-2020|
|October||Monthly Pooja (Thulam)||16-10-2020||21-10-2020|
|November||Sree Chithira Thirunal Aatta Vishesham||12-11-2020||13-11-2020|
|Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam||15-11-2020||26-12-2020|
|Makara Vilakku Mahotsavam||30-12-2020||20-01-2021|
|January 2021||Makara Vilakku||14-01-2021|
Below is the detailed list of important poojas:
Sabarimala temple will be opened on different dates each month every year but the most vital months will start after the onam festival, as the majority of devotees will take up the Ayyappa deeksha during months of September each month there will be a monthly pooja and that will be the best time to visit the temple.
- Dates to visit sabarimala in the Month of September 2020
- In the month of September, the sabarimala temple will be opened for 6 days from 16-09-2020 to 21-10-2020 on the occasion of Kanni pooja
- Dates to visit sabarimala in the month of October 2020
- During the month of October, the sabarimala temple will be opened for 6 days from 16-10-2020 to 21-10-2020 On the occasion of monthly pooja-Tulam and the temple will be open on these days.
- Dates to visit sabarimala in the month of November 2020
- In the month of November, the temple will be opened from 12th to 13th November on the occasion of Sree Chithira Thirunal Aatta Vishesham and the Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam will be started from 15th and the temple will be kept open for a few months.
- Dates to visit sabarimala in the month of December 2020
- In the month of December, the Mandala Pooja will be held on 26-12-2020 which marks the end of the 41 days long austerity known as Mandala Kalam that is observed by the followers or devotees of Lord Ayyappa. Mandala Puja along with ‘Makara Vilakku’ are the two major events held at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple that draws devotees from all over Kerala and neighbouring states. During this time the temple remains open on most of the days for the devotees.
- Dates to visit sabarimala in the month of January 2021
- In January every year a large number of people and devotees will travel to sabarimala on the occasion of MAKARA VILAKKU festival which is one of the major festivals held at sabarimala Ayyappa temple. In the year 2021 the makara vilakku festival will be celebrated on 14th Jan 2021 then the temple will be closed on 20th Jan 2021