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Pampa Vilakku at Sabarimala – The tradition of floating lamps in River Pampa


Pampa Vilakku is the floating of lamps on a conical shaped small structure resembling a temple on the river Pampa by Ayyappa devotees before beginning the trek to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. The ritual is performed at Pampa after sunset. There is no special day or time to perform Pampa Vilakku. Some Ayyappa devotee before climbing the hill performs this ritual on the River Pampa after sunset.

The small structure for floating the Pampa Vilakku is made using bamboo from the nearby forest. The base is made using parts of Banana tree or plantain. Small candles are then attached to the structure.

Ayyappa devotees chant the glory of Lord Ayyappa and float it on the river after sunset.

There is a popular belief that Lord Ayyappa arrives to during sunset on the banks of Pampa to bless his devotees. So the lamps are offered to Him at Pampa for a safe trek.

Another symbolism attached to the Pampa Vilakku is that the lamps celebrate the victory of the good over evil. The evil here is the bad qualities, ego and anger in human beings. An Ayyappa devotee who observes the Vratam will be able to achieve this victory over evil and realize the Supreme Truth in him.

Related
Azhutha River on the way from Erumeli to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

Did you know?

Ponnambalamedu Hill
Legend has it that Lord Parashuram had built a temple here dedicated to Ayyappa. It is the Adhi Moolasthanam – or the original abode of Lord Ayyappa. He also made a pond named Seethakulam here.
Achankoil Sastha Temple 
Lord Ayyappa leads the Grihastha Ashrama life here – he is depicted as a family man or leads married life here.