The transcendental month of Vrischikam begins today. The 41-days long ‘vritha’ (voluntary act of continence) in connection with Sabarimala Mandala season starts on the first day of Malayalam month Vrischika.
This is considered to be an auspicious month and a large number of devotees visit Lord Ayyappa with pure devotion and spirituality. The devotees trek the mountain all the way only to have a darshan of Lord Ayyappa who is a celibate.
The pilgrimage to Sabarimala starts from the first day of Vrischikam month of Malayalam and ends on the 11th day of Dhanu month. This season of 41-days pilgrimage is known as Mandala kalam (season) .
The temple is situated on a hilltop, surrounded by mountains and dense forests. The dense forest, part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, around the temple is known as Poongavanam.
The devotees are strictly abstained from meat, fish, alcohol, tobacco, sex, haircut, shaving, use of ill-words, unpleasantness, swearing, etc. They are expected to wear only black or saffron coloured dresses,don a Rudraksha mala. They are to visit a near-by temple everyday till they start their pilgrimage to the main temple. They should observe “Brahmacharya” (self control of overall sensual pleasures).The temple remains open for the entire period.
The Holy shrine of Sabarimala is one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in the world. People irrespective of religion, caste and creed can visit the temple.
May Lord Ayyappa shower his blessings to all the devotees. Swami Saranam!