Ayyappa is the Hindu God worshipped in the famous
in Kerala. Story of Ayyappa is based on legends that are popular in Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple South India. Legend has it that Mahishi, sister of
Mahishasura, wanted to avenge the death of her brother. Mahishasura was killed
by Goddess Durga. To become powerful Mahishi did intense penance and made
Brahma appear before her.
As a boon, Mahishi demanded that she should only be killed by a son born to Shiva and Vishnu. She also demanded such a son should also live among the human beings for 12 years.
After getting the boon, Mahishi attacked all living beings and started propagating Adharma. Living beings approached Shiva and Vishnu. They promised to put an end to the reign of Mahishi.
Shiva once happened to hear about the beauty of the Mohini incarnation of Vishnu. Shiva wanted to see the Mohini incarnation. Vishnu then appeared before Shiva as Mohini and from the union was born Ayyappa – HariHara Putra.
The child was found by King of Pandalam in a dense forest during his hunting expedition. There was a small bell on the neck of the boy and he was named Manikandan.
When the boy grew up, the king wanted to install Ayyappa as the crown prince. But queen and minister thwarted the attempt. Queen feigned illness and as cure the palace physician wanted the milk of a tigress.
Ayyappa took the permission of the king and immediately went to the forest.
There Ayyappa came across Mahishi. Both had a terrific duel. Devas and Saints appeared to witness the fight.
Finally, Ayyappa annihilated Mahishi at Erumeli.
Ayyappa then returned to the palace with Tigress and cubs. Soon king, queen and people realized that Ayyappa was no human being. As per His request a temple was built at Sabarimala and Ayyappa started residing there.