Some Ayyappa devotees from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka intending to make the pilgrimage to the
in Kerala wear the Ayyappa Mala or Mudra on the first day of the Kartik month. The first day of the Kartik month in 2016 as per Telugu and Kannada calendars is October 31. Nowadays, wearing of the Mudra Mala on this day is only followed by few devotees. Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple
The Kartik month in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka falls a month earlier than in Tamil Nadu. Ayyappa devotees usually wear the Mudra Mala on the first day of the Karthigai Masam in Tamil Nadu or the first day of Vrischika Masam in Kerala – this usually falls in mid November usually on November 16 or November 17.
There are also many devotees in
South India, especially in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh that wear the Ayyappa Mudra Mala on the Dasara day. Such people observe vratam for more than three-months.
Nowadays, most people opt for shorter Vratam days and most start the Vratam observed for 41 days or 21 days before Makar Sankranti (January 14.)