The Sabarimala Sreekovil – A Dream for Devotees. Kerala, popularly tagged as the Gods’ Own Country is a home to diverse traditions, cultures, and practices. Not just with this, the district is also largely known for its wonderful tourist destinations that lures tourists across verticals. Adding up to the data, Kerala is also a land of Temples. There are about 2167 temples spreading wide across the 14 districts, encompassing a major portion of the total landscape. Amongst this humongous lot of temples, there is this one temple that is so significant in its origin, culture, and rituals. It is the world famous “Sabarimala Temple” which accounts for the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. This temple isn’t just a place of pilgrimage rather a blessed & devotional space. It is here where incalculable devotees pour their hearts out at the feet of “Ayyappa Swami” who is also looked upon as Dharmashasta. The soulful journey to The Sabarimala Sreekovil has always been a dream for Devotees who offer every bit of themselves just to have a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa.
The Sanidhanam is pure Bliss
There are like thousands of Ayyappa temples that we could find across countries with each one having a toast of uniqueness for itself. One amongst those that always stands tall for its blessedness is the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. The Sabarimala temple is located amidst the famous Sabari Hills that proudly etches its boundaries along the western ghats. This temple, being one of the prime highlights of the Pathanamthitta district reflects a holy shrine that isn’t bounded to a single religion. The Sreekovil is of no difference to any religion as Swami Ayyappa is the sole divinity that embraces the whole sanctum. The journey to Sreekovil isn’t quite easy as any other for it takes sheer devotion and mental will to witness a glimpse of the Dharmashasta. The Sanidhanam is located on the hilltop at 3000 feet above sea level, and this makes the temple even more special and unique as well.
The devotional core or the Sanidhanam where Swami Ayyappa is believed to have resided for years is all that the devotees long to witness during the entire course of their journey. The soulful devotees could ask for nothing more than to have a glimpse of the Dharmashasta and let free their whole-hearted emotions at the feet of Swami Ayyappa.
The Sabarimala Sreekovil
The Sabarimala Sreekovil or the sanctum is so prestigious for its divinity & the way it was built. This monumental structure is believed to have traced its resemblance to the Buddhist monarchy temples. Yes, the ones that were built during the medieval period. The Sabarimala Sreekovil is completely wrapped like a golden beauty, making it grander from an outward view. With the roofs of the sanctum being gold plated and some impeccable carvings of ancient culture adding beauty, one cannot just take their eyes of this Sreekovil. Just in front of the Sreekovil, you can find the Dhwajam that symbolizes a whole lot of divine values to hold close during the prayer offerings.
The Sanidhanam has also got a lot to deliver to the devotees. The shrine of Lord Ganapathi is situated to the south-west of the Sreekovil where the Neythenga offerings take place. Adjacent to the Malikappuram temple is the shrine of Nagarajav that stands tall amidst the divine ambiance. With diverse shrines to have described, all that is left is the 18 Sacred steps that are considered as the way to heaven. Yes, a heaven where the almighty Lord Ayyappa found his way to divinity. These steps also have a symbolic reference to the Vedas and Karmas. The Eighteen steps comprise of the “Panchendriyas”, “Ashtaragas”, “Thrigunas”, and “Vidyas” together framing the quintessential values for Life. It is also a fact that the Sabarimala Temple is surrounded by the eighteen hills. Which obviously falls to coincide with the eighteen divine steps to the Sreekovil as well.
By stringently following a 41-day Vratham the pilgrimage to Sabarimala is one of a kind. A Pilgrimage where divinity is attained to the fullest. Carrying the sacred Irumudi kattu on the heads and holding on to the Saranam mantras the devotees are committed for the journey of Self-realization.
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