Sabarimala is one of the most popular religious significant places of India. It is a Hindu pilgrimage center where every year millions of devotees come to visit and thus fulfilling their religious beliefs in the land. It is one of the most visited religious centers of the country and thus tourism in Sabarimala is greatly acclaimed. Sabarimala tourism is flourished with the religious essence that the land beholds within its aura and ambience. Beholding great historical and mythological connection this place has outshined as the most popular pilgrimage centers of the country welcoming huge traffic of tourists and devotees from every corner of the world.
It is a Hindu pilgrimage but over the years, tourists irrespective of religious have started visiting the land to experience the glory and grandeur of the land. Thus, Sabarimala can be looked beyond its religious heritage and termed as a perfect tourist destination availing tourists an enduring tour to Sabarimala. Sabarimala, the pilgrim center is located in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. It is the largest annual pilgrimage in world with about 40 to 50 million devotees visiting the place every year. Sabarimala has great significance to history. It is believed that Hindu God Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demoness Mahisi in Sabarimala. Ayyappan’s temple is situated in Sabarimala amidst 18 hills. Sabarimala beholds various temples amidst its forestry and hilly regions and each hill significantly has a temple built within it.
Thus, visitors making a tour to Sabarimala experience a gallery of temples amidst lofty hills and gift themselves a spectacular vision to cherish for life time along with attaining religious belief and purity in mind. However Sabarimala is restricted to women as it is believed that God Ayyappan was a Bramhachari and prohibited women coming within his contact. Thus, every woman in the menstrual age group is not allowed to visit this pilgrimage center. There are various tourist places in Sabarimala that holds the major significance in one’s trip to Sabarimala. Important tourist attractions of Sabarimala such as Ayyappan temple, Lord Murugun temple, Nilakkal temple, Malayalappuzza temple, Mahadeva temple, Srevallabha temple, Manarasala temple, Sri Dharma Sastha temple, Subramanya temple, Ganapati temple and so on. All these temples enhance the glory of Sabarimala all the more. Certain customs are to be strictly observed if one has to undertake a pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
A pilgrim attending the Mandalapooja of Sabarimala should observe austerities for 41 days. During this period, the pilgrim should abstain himself from non vegetarian food and carnal pleasures. Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader, and each carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi kettu containing traditional offerings. Thus, devotees sacrificing few luxuries attend the grand pooja of the land and make their tour to Sabarimala a religious achievement to cherish for lifetime.