Sabarimala pilgrimage season started on 17th NovemberSabarimala pilgrimage of this year started on 17th of November. Actually it is the first day of Malayalam month Vrischikam, the day on which the Mandala season begin. From this day onwards devotees start to visit this Ayyappa temple. Generally the idol Ayyappa is referred as 'Dharma Sastha'. The devotees are supposed to fast in the night during the period from the day on which they wear a special chain (of rudraksha) and identify as an Ayyappa devotee. They have to lead a life of Brahmachari. Only after visiting the temple and completing all rituals they return and enter into routine life.
Sabarimala is located at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghat ranges of Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. It is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world with an estimated 45 to 50 million devotees visiting every year. The temple is on a hill top, altitude of more than four thousand feet above sea level. This hill is amidst 18 hills with forest.