Ayyappa Intensive Tapas Pilgrimage

Tapas itself is intensive but the real intensive tapas for many men,children and older women is the travel to Sabarimala to have the darshan of Ayyappa-also known as the protector in Kaliyuga. Those who wish to undertake the pilgrimage should take a wrath (adopt a special way to life their life prior to the trekking temple visit. They start off on an auspicious day by going to a temple and taking on a Tulasi mala, and then from this day they have to follow a strict bramacharya wrath- and walking with bare feet, eating once a day and keeping their mind and heart pure and chanting the name of Ayyappa. People undertake wrath for the time they can normally can from 41 days to 10 days. Then they come together and then make a ritual procedure with the help of an Ayyappa Gurusami (a person who has travelled 18 years to Sabarimala) and then take the Irumudi which consists if Rice, coconuts filled with Ghee and start on the pilgrimage to the temple. On the way they should by no means leave the irumudi on the ground. Their destination is on the banks of the Pamba river and from here they slowly move further into the deep dense forest Рwalking bare foot and chanting the name of Ayyappa. 7Km before they reach their final destination, they come across various small deities and offer their prayers and move on. At Sabarimal they pray to the Karuppannaswamy  who guards the 18 steps leading to the main God.The 18 steps represent the 18 siddhars and slowly come to the sanctum sanctorium and then pray to Lord Ayyappa and start their trek back to the Pamba river.an Intense Tapas is required for people to reach this temple and return. Many are so overwhelmed by it that they get to follow it as a regular schedule every year.

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