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Aryankavu Ayyappa Temple - Story - Marriage Festival

The Ayyappa Temple at Aryankavu in Kollam District is one among the five most important temples dedicated to Ayyappa in Kerala. The shrine at Aryankavu is known as Aryankavu Sastha Temple and Ayyappa is depicted as a teenager (young boy) here. Ayyappa is known as Tiruaryan here and therefore the place got the name Aryankavu. The temple is famous for the thirukalyanam or marriage festival annually in December.

Surrounded by forests, the temple is located on the TrivandrumTenkasi National Highway. Just like in Sabarimala, women from the age 10 to 50 are not allowed inside the Aryankavu Ayyappa Temple.

The rituals and pujas followed at Aryankavu Sastha Temple is that of Tamil tradition. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has idols of Devi, Shiva and Sastha. A young Ayyappa sits in the middle with Devi on the left side and Shiva on the right side.

The festival at the temple is celebrated during the last days of the Sabarimala Mandala Kalam. The most important festivals observed here include Pandiyan Madippu, Thirukalyanam and Kumbhabhishekam.

The two main festivals in the temple are Mandala Pooja and the Thirukalyanam festival both celebrated in December. Invitation for the marriage festival (Thirukalyanam) is sent every year by the Travancore Devaswom board to the Saurashtran community in Madurai. Every year the divine marriage is celebrated in the Saurashtrian style in a grand manner. Large number of Saurashtra community members attends this festival bringing with them gifts to the bride.

The temple can be accessed by traveling on Kollam – Punalur – Tenkasi road or by traveling on the Trivandrum – Tenkasi road.

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