17 Things To Do In Sabarimala

Things To Do In Sabarimala

Nestled in the serene Western Ghats of Kerala, Sabarimala is not just a pilgrimage destination but a sanctum where spirituality meets nature. Home to the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple, this sacred hill shrine attracts millions of devotees annually. However, beyond the religious fervor, Sabarimala offers a unique blend of culture, tradition, and natural beauty that captivates every visitor. Here are some enlightening things to do in Sabarimala to ensure a wholesome experience:

Things To Do In Sabarimala

  1. Darshan at Lord Ayyappa Temple:

The primary reason pilgrims embark on the journey to Sabarimala is to seek the blessings of Lord Ayyappa. The temple is perched atop the Sabarimala hill, surrounded by lush greenery. Devotees undertake a challenging trek through dense forests and steep paths to reach the sanctum sanctorum. The darshan (sighting) of the deity is a deeply spiritual and moving experience.

  1. Makara Jyothi Viewing:

Plan your visit around the Makara Sankranti festival to witness the celestial event known as Makara Jyothi. The divine light is seen on the eastern horizon, believed to be Lord Ayyappa’s celestial form. Pilgrims and tourists gather in large numbers to catch a glimpse of this awe-inspiring spectacle. The festival adds a celestial touch to the spiritual aura of Sabarimala.

  1. Pampa River Bathing:

Pampa River, located at the foothills of Sabarimala, is considered sacred, and pilgrims take a dip in its waters before beginning the ascent. The riverbanks also provide a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll. The tranquility and purity of Pampa River contribute to the overall spiritual experience.

  1. Neelimala Viewpoint Trek:

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in trekking to the Neelimala Viewpoint. This trek, known for its panoramic views of the surrounding hills and forests, is a delightful experience. The lush green landscapes and the cool mountain air make it a rejuvenating activity for those seeking a break from the religious fervor.

  1. Azhutha River and Kalaketi Falls:

Just a short distance from Sabarimala, Azhutha River and Kalaketi Falls offer a refreshing escape into nature. The pristine waters and the lush surroundings make it an ideal spot for picnics and relaxation. The rhythmic sounds of the waterfall create a serene ambiance.

  1. Visit to Malikappuram Devi Temple:

Adjacent to the Ayyappa Temple is the Malikappuram Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Malikappuram. Devotees often include a visit to this temple during their pilgrimage. The serene atmosphere and the unique rituals add another layer to the cultural richness of Sabarimala.

  1. Periya Kadutta Swami Temple:

This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is another sacred spot near Sabarimala. Pilgrims often visit this temple as part of their religious journey. The intricate architecture and historical significance make it a fascinating stop.

  1. Vavar Shrine:

Adjacent to the Ayyappa Temple is the Vavar Shrine, dedicated to Vavar Swami, a close companion of Lord Ayyappa. Devotees, irrespective of their religious beliefs, visit this shrine to pay respects. It symbolizes the unity and harmony among diverse communities.

  1. Bhagavathy Temple at Aryankavu:

Extend your spiritual journey by visiting the Bhagavathy Temple at Aryankavu. Located amidst dense forests, this ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. The tranquil surroundings and the unique rituals make it a spiritually enriching experience.

  1. Sabarimala Wildlife Sanctuary:

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Sabarimala Wildlife Sanctuary is a must. Rich in biodiversity, the sanctuary is home to various species of flora and fauna. Treks within the sanctuary offer a chance to connect with nature and witness the beauty of the Western Ghats.

  1. Vavaru Mosque:

Near the Pampa River, you’ll find the Vavaru Mosque, a place of worship significant for both Hindus and Muslims. Pilgrims often visit this mosque as part of their Sabarimala journey, reflecting the religious inclusivity of the region.

  1. Art and Craft Shopping at Erumeli:

Erumeli, a town near Sabarimala, is known for its vibrant markets. Explore the local shops for traditional Kerala handicrafts, spices, and souvenirs. The markets offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

  1. Sabarimala Pilgrimage during Mandala Season:

If possible, plan your visit during the Mandala season (November to December), when the pilgrimage is at its peak. The entire region comes alive with religious fervor, cultural events, and processions, providing a unique insight into the devotion of the pilgrims.

  1. Attend Traditional Music and Dance Performances:

Check for cultural events and performances happening in and around Sabarimala. Traditional Kerala music and dance forms, such as Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, often grace the stage during festivals and special occasions.

  1. Participate in Annadanam (Free Food Distribution):

Many temples in Sabarimala offer Annadanam, a practice of providing free meals to devotees. Participating in or contributing to this noble tradition is a way to engage in selfless service and experience the community spirit prevalent in the region.

  1. Photography at Sannidhanam:

Capture the essence of Sabarimala by bringing along your camera. Sannidhanam, the temple complex, and its surroundings offer picturesque views, especially during the early morning or evening. Respect the guidelines regarding photography within the temple premises.

  1. Experience Ayurvedic Therapies:

Kerala is renowned for its Ayurvedic traditions. Take some time off for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage or therapy at one of the wellness centers near Sabarimala. It’s a holistic way to relax your body and mind.


Sabarimala, with its blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty, offers a unique pilgrimage experience. Whether you are a devout pilgrim or a traveler seeking cultural exploration, Sabarimala has something profound to offer. From the challenging trek to the divine darshan and the serene riverbanks to the lush landscapes, each facet contributes to an unforgettable journey in the lap of nature and spirituality.

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