Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple and Trekking

Sabarimala is the abode of Lord Ayyappa(sometimes spelled as Aiyappa also) located in midst of absolute greenery. Devotees all over the country visit sannidhanam wearing Ayyappa Maala – a vratam performed by devotees for a period of 41 days. Sabarimala temple attracts large number of devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana compared to any other state. Peak season at Sabarimala will be from November to January till Makara Sankrathi or Makara Sankramana day. Temple management with kerala police arranges all the facilities in order to provide hassle free darshan for devotees during peak season and other arrangements like virtual Queue. Temple will be open every month for mandala pooja apart from the regular pooja of the months of November, December and January and will be closed till sacred days of next month. Devotees are less during Mandala pooja time and one can have easy darshan of Lord Ayyappa.

Lord Ayyappa sannidhanam

Sabarimala can be reached from various places and nearest being the Chenganur called gateway of Sabarimla which is connected by road and railways. During Mandala pooja and regular pooja time Kerala road Transport Corporation arranges special buses plying from Chenganur to Pampa (also pronounced as Pamba) and back. Pamba bridge which has to be crossed to reach sabarimala is at a distance of 93 kms from Chenganur. It takes three hours for public transport to reach Pamba from Chenganur and same time for returning. Considering the travel time required, plan the travel accordingly.

Chenganur Bus stand

Chenganur Railway station - has clean waiting hall both for AC and non-AC reserved passengers

on the way to pampa from Chenganur

On the way to Pampa from Chenganur

Pampa bus stand

From river pampa, Ayyappa sannidhanam (sannidhanam refers to temple) is at a distance of 6 kms to be covered by walking. Initial two and half kilometers is steep and after that the road is normal suitable for regular walk. As a custom large number of devotees walk to sabarimala bare foot even though there is no strict rule on it.

way to Pampa

Pampa bridge to reach Sannidhanam

Shopping complex at Pampa


Trek to Ayyappa sannidhanam started with the dip in holy river Pampa which was clean due to heavy rain fall when we visited. Crossing river Pampa we need to proceed for Sabarimala Ayyappa darshan. After having darshan of Lord Ganapathy, Anjaneya, Rama and Goddess Parvathy, we started to starting point of trek which is backside of these temples.

Ganesha Temple at pampa

Way to Sannidhanam

Govt. Cardiology Center for devotees

On trek path - some times slippery

Trek path

Trek path 

Initial trekking path is steep and has steps. One can enjoy the nature and trek slowly taking little breaks. Be careful as it is slippery at some places. Street vendors selling water, fruits and other required things are common in trek path. Health center is also being set up in between for the devotees requiring emergency medical help.

Dolly service for the aged from Pampa to Sabarimala



In between Sabari peetam is present on the way where Sabari met lord Ayyappa and the name Sabarimala is due to her to the hill. Nearing Ayyappa sannidhanam we can see many shops and in the trek route tractors carrying construction material is normally seen. But other vehicles are not allowed to Sannidhanam from Pampa.

Tractors carrying construction material

View from Sabarimala

Since, it was Mandala pooja time we could have good darshan of lord Ayyappa twice and could take rest in reserved rooms before starting back. Also, we visited nearby deities and Vavar thara – a small temple built for sufi saint and friend of Lord Ayyappa. It was enriching experience to be in middle of greenery and see devotees coming from different places to have darshan of lord Ayyappa with a hope to relieve them from all their difficulties.

Temple Entrance with 18 steps allowed only for devotees with Irumudi

Alternate path for devotees without Irumudi

Vavaruswamy - friend of Lord Ayyappa

place in front of temple main gate to relax 


Heavy rain

serve good quality Coffee and Tea at Sabarimala

In return we took other path which is being used during peak time. The road is steep and requires careful stepping as railings are not present to hold and carefully descend. The roads are well-lit and can walk during night time also.

Alternate path to reach or come from Pampa

Petrol bunk at Pampa

Due to modernization, mobile networks with 3G connection and ATMs of many banks are available both in Sabarimala hill and Pampa also. A petrol pump or petrol bunk is present in Pampa for refueling if you are going by own vehicle. Accommodation can be booked online itself for accommodation at Sabarimala itself using their online reservation system (website link) which helps for a planned journey to God’s abode.


  1. Hey.. Night travelling is allowed in Mandala Pooja time

  2. Good information ..thanks for posting

  3. I have booked the accommodation, but where is the accommodation located exactly? Near temple or pampa?

  4. Where are the accommodations located ? pampa? Or near temple?

    1. Hello Gajesh,

      Thanks for your comment. Accommodation is near temple in the Sannidhanam. It is not near Pampa. You can see the accommodation counter just near the Sannidhanam entrance.

      Thank you and Happy Darshan

  5. Thanks for the reply team,
    I'm planning to go alone to sabarimala, with my bike, so is there any locker or room facilities in pampa? So I can drop in everything and trek along?

    1. You can go alone to Sabarimala. You can park it near the parking near Pamba where usually car and other vehicles are parked. Bike you can park in such parking but room facilities I don't remember seeing any such facility. Alternatively you can explore in Chenganur otherwise from there frequent buses fly to Pamba (i.e. starting point of Sabarimala trek crossing the river).

      PS:It is just a single man work, no team to answer queries.

  6. How long will it take from Pamba to sabarimalai? By walk

  7. When monthly Mandala Puja is held? Any transport arrangement from Pampa to Sannidhanam?