Today – November 16, 2012 – Sabarimala Mandalakalam begins – Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Opens for Mandala Puja



Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala will open for the Mandala Pua – Mandalakalam season on November 16, 2012. The two month pilgrim season attracts millions of devotees to this hill shrine dedicated to Sastha. The 41-day vratam associated with Sabarimala begins from the 1st day of Malayalam month Vrishickam.

Mandala Masam or Mandala Kalam begins on November 16, 2012 - the 41 day Mandalam Season begins. The Shrine is open on all days.

Mandala Pooja is on December 26, 2012.

Temple closes after Mandala Pooja on December 26, 2012 at 2230 hrs.

The shrine then closes for a brief period and reopens for Makaravilakku festival.

Temple re-opens for Makara Vilakku Session on December 30, 2012 at 1730 hrs.

Makaravilakku is on January 14, 2013. The famous Makarajyothi sighting also will take place on this day.

Temple closes on January 20, 2013 at 2200 hrs.

A pilgrim visiting the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple during the Mandalapooja period should observe certain austerities for 41 days. The pilgrim should abstain from non- vegetarian habits, should not indulge in sex and should wear the special Rudraksha mala. Some people don’t shave or cut their hair during the period. Some ardent devotees only wear black or saffron dress and avoid wearing foot wears.

Pilgrims set out in groups and each carry the Irumudikkettu, a cloth bundle containing traditional offerings to the temple which includes coconut, ghee, malar, rice etc.

People of all religions can visit the Sabarimala temple and there is no restriction of caste or creed. But there are certain restrictions on women. Only those women who have either passed their fertility age and those before reaching the stage of puberty are allowed in the shrine.

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