Padi Puja at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

Padi Puja is the worship of the holy 18-steps at the world famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala. Ayyappa devotees climb the 18 steps, or Pathinettam Padi, to reach the shrine to have the darshan of Lord Ayyappa. The 18 steps are considered as holy as the shrine itself. Its holiness can be gauged from the fact that in 2009 itself the Padi Puja booking for the year 2021 has been completed.

Padi Puja, or the puja of the Pathinettam Padi, is performed in the evening on certain days at the temple. Thousands of people wait patiently to witness this important puja.

Earlier Padi puja was performed once in 12 years. But due to the large number of demands from Ayyappa devotees to conduct the puja, it is now conducted during the monthly puja on the first five days of the Malayalam month. It also performed during other auspicious days. Due to heavy rush of devotees the Padi puja is restricted to very few days during the Mandala Makaravilakku season.

Padi puja is also one of the costliest pujas at the Ayyappa Temple. The cost of performing the Padi Puja is 30,001/-.