Holy trip to Ayyppa Sabarimala - Part 1

First of all I should thank Lord Ayyapa for making my holy trip a grand success.Its a great refresh to my soul. With my great rejoice I would like to dedicate this sequence of post(s) to Sri Dharma Sastha.
I can say this was most awaiting holy trip for me since 10 years. I am so happy that I finished this trip successfully with out any troubles. I should thank Vivekananda Travels - Bangalore for making this a grand success.As planned by Vivekananda travels it is 5 days trip and here how it went...I am kanni swami in this trip as this is my first visit to sabarimala.

Day 1(Thursday) - 18/12/2008
          This is the unforgettable day in my life; I was solitude for my Irumudi/Virumudi pooja. Finished all my routine office jobs and left early office, finishing my last pooja in room quickly reached Madiwaala Ayyppa temple around at 4:15 PM as the scheduled bus time at this stop is at 5:00 PM. Due slight delay in Guruswaamy arrival my Irumudi pooja started just at 5:00 PM and finished so quickly to accommodate many other swamis in queue.
Really I sensed the solitude as no one around me - not even parents and friends. I really comprehended the pain of “Lonely journey”.
Once I am done with my Irumudi pooja, breaking the first coconut at the Madiwaala temple itself quickly entered in Bus. Due to my wrong perspective I am totally surprised when I see the Bus. It is really good, cleaned ambience with semi sleeper seats that to just 2 X 2. I settled in my window seat (7), and started looking for my partner devotee with ardent eyes. Then we reached HAL temple around at 6:15 PM. HAL ayyappa temple is the oldest ayappa temple in Banagalore. There once I visited god and prayed while returning to bus I observed many devotees surrounding the bus doing pooja, once that is finished all devotees chanting saranu gosha (Saranam ayypa and other names of ayyapa) holding irumudi on their heads eneterd into bus. Most of the seats were filled here itself. My next seat devotee is Mr.Senthil Kumar. He is really nice devotee; his company all through this yaatra is really memorable. And I joined with his crew Praveen, Mahesh, Aadi, and Guru Swami. It is really a nice team. Next the bus has been to Banswaadi ayyapa Temple, Yeswanthapur Ayyapa Temple and the last pick up point is Jalahalli Ayyappa Temple. On the way to this temple we all had given ID cards with all contact details of the guide and travel people to make the journey easy. I should say some thing about Jalahalli Ayyappa temple here. It is really a very big temple I have seen till now in Bangalore. I am surprised to see the big elephant in the temple premises. And the special poojas and Kolatam festivals bening conducted in temple when we visited are really eye catchy. Once we finished our prayers in this temple we entered in a hotel to finish dinner (Light food) . But due to Praveen’s hand outs of pooris we had really heavy food. Once bus started from this place there were no stops till Calicut which we reached early 4 AM early in the next day morning.

Day 2(Friday)  - 19/12/2008

        We were given fresh-up facilities in Vivekananda Asram, once after quick fresh-up we preceded to Sree Valayanadu devi Temple. It is the first Kerala temple I have seen in my life. While I was entering temple immediately temple people stopped me, as I am wearing a pant. I am aware of removing shirt to enter into temple which I did already but completely not aware of these pant restriction.
Dress code to be followed strictly during this entire trip (All Kerala Temples): With out any shirt we should wear just one Dhoti (Panche/Munde).
I am able to manage my entrance by replacing my pant with one of my towel. We were not able to have darshan as the temple was closed that time but I really enjoyed my first glance of this kinda temple.
The main temple is constructed in a round shaped house with red colored clay tiles with a very small door, which no one expects while watching first time. This round temple is surrounded by some more small temples in a square/rectangle shape of temple along with outer safety wall.

Typical Kerala temple model
The above is the typical structure of most of the Kerala temples I have seen all through this trip. Few temples have pond in its premises but few are not having. Especially the other parts of Indian temples are famous for their big doors with so much artistic work on it. I felt kerala temples are unique in its style. But I can say - it is really awesome for a typical Andhrite like me.

Then after this Devi temple visit, we finished pooja at our bus itself and proceeded to Thiruvannor Shiva Temple. On the way to this temple we had quick introductions with Guruswaami(34 times visited) initiation.There were around 17 "Kanni swamis" including me in the bus along with 6 to 7 guruswaamis. Some fo them visited more than 20 times also. Most of the Swaamis are Software engineers/related to software companies by proffession.We got chance to meet differnt people(advocates, Banka mangers, recruiters, HR's, Architects, Bussiness people and an Auto driver too) during this trip which is not at all possible in routine and busy lifes. While introduction some of us excited us more by their songs(Ayappa).All our motto is to have a nice holy trip and thats what we had with ultimate enjoyment. All the journey we were continuously chanting Saranugosha and other ayyappa songs. Its really a wonderful trip. Though the guide is not encouraging the remaing peoples excitement and ennthusiasm excited the other people to make this wonderful trip. The same temple structure I mentioned above is found here also. Then visited two Subrmanya temples in the same village and proceeded to Vivekanada guest house to have break-fast. The place where our break fast is arranged is nicely arranged and it is clean even in an open place.We were given “Upma” and curry bananas along with tea.I was surprised to see tea being served there and afraid to have the same but some body convinced me that once irumdi pooja is done we can have all basic vegetarian foods unlike we have in the deeksha time.Next stop is at Kadampuzha devi temple. It is also closed, but we gave the coconuts for next day pooja in temple counter.
It is believed that by offering coconuts for each of our desires, Devi will give us boons and fulfill all our dreams.
While purchasing coconuts itself shopkeeper will list all our (me and my family members individually) desires separately on a paper and gives us the coconuts for each desire. Suppose for me to have good education, health and wealth I need to offer 3 coconuts to deity, similarly for each of my family members for each desires we need to give coconuts. Like this each of our team started taking coconuts and almost more than 200 coconuts we purchased all together and submitted in temple counter. It was bit delayed due to this here to reach Gurvayir sree Krishna temple.But the plan was slightly changed with out disturbing the next schedule. With out guravair sree Krishna darshan we finished our lunch around at 12:30 PM in “Aaraadhana lodge” (Just near to temple), where our travel guys already arranged every thing for us.

Elephant @ Guruvayur temple
We reached around at 1 PM, though we know that temple would be opened at 3:30 PM. We had sprinkles of holy pond water in Guruvair temple premises instead of complete bath. Then we quickly entered in queue as the expectation of the number of visiting people is more at that time. Luckily we are in the very first of the queue; we observed the auctions that were happening in the temple premises itself.I got a chance to buy one honey bottle and a bronze lamp being used in temple. Guruvair Sri Krishna was in the form of “Chinni Krishna”. Though the temple is so old its construction and the architecture will surley mesmerize our eyes.
There was a big metallic frames constructed around the main temple for this temple for the purpose of decorating the temple completely with lights during festival times. This kind of arrangement we saw in most of the other Kerala temples too.
Then we moved to “Triprayar Sree Rama temple”, this was the first temple I have seen a Rama idol alone being worshiped. Generally Rama idol will be accompanied with Seeta, Lakshmana and Anjaneya in any Ramalyam. But this is unique. According to history of the temple, When Rama was in search of Seeta during his “Aranyavasam” he stayed at this place. Hence the Rama was being worshiped alone here. And I am totally captivated while having darshan in this Rama temple, I saw surprisingly Anjaneya face in the same Idol. It was really a splendid experience and it’s all gods’ magic. We got a chance to see a special worship of Rama here by touring him on the elephant in the temple premises. It is really a Royal symbol and one should have this scene. Time was around 6 PM people started decorating with lights by lighting the lamps arranged around the main temple and inside the main safety wall.By charging just 10 R/- temple concerned people will burst the special crackers on be half of us just immediately in temple site itself.
It is believed that by bursting the crackers in the temple premises our desires will be fulfilled. This kind of tradition we can observe in most of the Kerala Hindu temples.
Next visit was “Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple”, immediately after this we reached “Chottanikkara” Devi temple. We halted here in pre-arranged night accommodations after finishing supper as the temple was closed for darshan. But we had really breathtaking scenes in this temple. This Devi temple was so famous for curing the psychological disorders and mental disabilities in people. So that time there was some special pooja was going on where the poojari was showing special “Mudras” and doing pooja with special holy water. That time we were really feared to see the mentally retarded people banging their heads and dancing heavily. After having nice chapathis and balck coffee as part of supper we went beds around at 11 PM.

Day 3(Saturday) - 20/12/2008
Around at 1 AM we got up and reached first darshan queue around at 2:30 AM after fresh-up in the same accommodation provided to us. Temple was opened at 3:30 AM with an action-packed Kerala style trumpets and cornet’s music.
The tradition of playing action-packed music with Mridangam, Tavil, kool, thimila, chenda, kombu, kuzhal, dolu,thalam and Manjeera is really awesome while opening any temple.
We had idly, upma and tea as part of break fast and proceeded to “Vaikam-Mahadeva temple (Shiva)”, “Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva temple (siva)” and “Ettumannor- Siva tmeple”. Almost all these three temples are same; the deity is Shiva in these three temples. These temples are very big temples with wide corridors and grounds. Just to finish one pradakshinam itself we have to walk around 1 KM. Our next stop is at Erumeli.

Let's continue the yaatra details specially many things about sabarimala and my experiences in the coming post.
Related posts in my blog:[1][2][3][4][5]

Chottanikkara amma

Chottanikkara amma

Chottanikkara amma

Chottanikkara amma

10 comments to "Holy trip to Ayyppa Sabarimala - Part 1"

  • Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa

  • It's good and interesting, my desire is to visit Sabarimala atlest once in my life. By your experience mentioned above I feel that as if I visited it. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Bagundira.... more photos would do much better.
    Also add details on how to plan for this. Which can be more help ful to many others.

  • Goodone... more photos and more details on how one can plan for all this would be more helpful....

  • It is very good and very interesting babu.............

  • Both your journey and narration are superb............It reminds me my childhood telugu lesson 'Kashmir Yatra'...Keep doing this always!!!!!!!!!!

  • Please check the related posts links in the same post ...for trip plans and other required things for this Yaatra

  • Babu, neeku life lo anni choodalaney oka zeal undi choodu, i like that. You are unique in ur tastes. The way u described the tour is awesome. kallaku kattinatlu choopinchavu babu. I am eagerly waiting for the next post. Expecting it at the earliest........

  • Realy nice post.
    I am planning to take Ayyappa Deeksha.
    please keep posting. I would like to know contact numbers of travels.

  • Swami Saranam, naa peru mahesh swami .. mee blog check chesanu looks cool. I have created a community in orkut .. "Ayyappa Swamy Temple@Madivala". I want/request you to become moderator for that community. Madivala Ayyappa Swamy Temple community ledhu swami .. list of communities .. lo, lets say go and spread ayyappas presence.

    Lets usher for "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa"

    Please get back to me at mahesh2urs@gmail.com

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