Instructions to Pilgrims

Before taking the vows for the pilgrimage, seeking the permission and the blessing of the parents is a must.

The devotees undertaking the pilgrimage for the first time (called ‘Kanni Ayyappan‘) should seek the guidance of a senior Guruswamy.

The Vritam (vow) should be observed for at least 45 to 48 days before ascending the sacred 18 steps to the sanctum sanctorum (sannidhanam) of Sabarimala. The Vritam is very simple and easily observable. The devotees shall try to be pure in all the 3 aspects – Kaaya (Physical) Vaacha (Speech) and Manasa (Mental) and obey the Guruswamy always.

Strict celibacy, repeated chanting of the ‘taaraka mantram’ ie SWAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPPA, conditions the body for the trek through the Sabari hills.

Utmost devotion, honesty and unfliching faith in His ultimate grace, abstinence from alcohol and non-vegetarian food, are the other prerequisites.

During Deeksha, the devotees shall be in black or saffron clothes, remain unshaven, wear Tulsi or Rudraksha mala.

The sacred mala should be worn in the presence of a Guruswamy. If unable, then place mala at the altar, chant “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” thrice and then wear.

Once you wear the mala, ensure you observe full Vritam. The devotees shall participate in Bhajans, pooja etc.

Devotion alone is the surest and simplest way to take one nearer to the Almighty.

Courtesy :



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  • Swamy Saranam
    For those of us travelling from Malaysia, we request the Kerala Police incharge of crowd control be more alert. During our pilgrimage in 2010, as we neared the Sanidanam, a stampede was taking place. The devotees were at fist blows BUT the two police officers were deliberately looking at another direction, ignoring their role there. Small Kids were screaming away. As for my son and me in order to save ourselves we jumped over the railings to avoid the stampede. Sometimes it gives an impression the Sabari Malai Management was only formed a few months ago! and still getting used to their job managing the annual pilgrimage!

    Rajaji , Malaysia

  • am also a kanni ayyappan…… i want to see lord ayyappa in sabarimalai… SWAMIYEE SARANAM AYYAPPA….

  • i am the kanni ayyappan. i am very excited to be.. to see lord ayyappa after fulfill the viradam correctly

    swamiye saranam ayyappa



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