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“Learn to Rough it Out. Its no picnic”

Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Sabarimala is a place of worship. Most Hindu's predominantly from Kerala fast for 41 days and then proceed to see Swamy Ayyppan. Absolute abstinence and vegetarian diet etc are rules to follow before you go. The Mountain climbing barefoot really tests your patience and you get to know how good or bad your state of health is. Though there are guest houses by various Government departments, there is nothing private or luxurious. On purpose this destination has not been commercialised and lacks infrastructure. Basic amenities and hygiene are just not there or the Government is doing nothing to improve a devotee's experience. Toilets Indian style, No running water, Basis street food is what is available. We got rooms due to the kindness of an Executive Officer and the govt rooms are on a first come first serve basis. Unless you are connected to large donors, it is not possible to stay for long

8  Thank paddy_m1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 - 132 of 134 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2012

18th Oct-> Took a night train from Chennai (@8pm) to Tenkasi (Pothigai express) which arrived at Tenkasi at 8.20am.

19th Oct -> Since i wanted this to a quick trip i had arranged for travel guy to pick me up from the railway station itself. Speak to manohar (9443113371) who runs mano tours and travels (manotravels.com). He charged me Rs 3200 for approx 320km trip (approx 160km each way) plus a Rs 300 for travel permit. Was the cheapest of the ones i enquired. A/c car and decent driver.

We started at 8.30am from tenkasi rlwy station and reached Pamba at 1.20pm stopping along with the way for a quick b/f at sengottai and tea at Punalur. Overall we would have probably stopped for about 45mins along the way for breaks. The road conditions are fairly Ok and one is driving through hilly areas most of the time with plenty of tree cover.

On reaching Pampa i took a quick dip (the pampa river was flowing nicely to a decent height ;would say about 4ft) and a bite before starting the climb at around 2.20pm. I reached the top at 3.45pm. being no longer physically active i did find the going tough about 3/4th of the way up. I took the new route (which is mix of steps and just paved inclines). I did take a few 2min breaks whenever i sensed my heart pumping too much. There is plenty of medical facilities along the walk and food as well. Plastic water bottles are allowed. I joined the queue for darshan (luckily a small one when i reached). Note, there are separate q's for those with erumudi and those without (me being in the without category). The temple opened in the evening at 5pm (I think it closed in the afternoon at 1pm; not so sure). First 10 mins the erumudi q gets a preference and then the general public is also allowed. I got a good darshan.note, for people going the 1st time the god idol is quite small (compared to say Tirupathi) and one has to be focussed to get a good glimpse since you are constantly pushed out by the security to keep the q moving.

In the climb down (started at 5.40pm) i took a different path (no steps, more stony at this point since it's not done fully yet and inclined). I did that following a crowd who had already started down that path and it turned out to be tricky since it got dark and absolutely no lights along the path. So please keep a mini-torch and some bandaid handy. I reach down by 6.50pm (quicker than the climb). This route was being used by the Doli service providers (cost Rs 4000 per trip both ways; negotiable) and 4 folks will carry u on a wooden chair (fitted like a palki) and bring u back.

Started my return trip to Tenkasi at 7pm and reached tenkasi at 11.40pm. had some breaks and encountered a mini-traffic jam accounting for some 40+mins. note, if u particular about food then either u carry plenty with you or lower your expectations on the quality. Veggie food in Kerala needs improvement and u will find very little decent hotels along the way. Most of them are tea shops which may sell some cold vada or other fried items. i spotted some decent restaurants at Pathanapuram town (around the 90km mark coming back from Pampa). otherwise pack something at Hotel Tamil nadu (15km down from Pampa) on the main road.

Stayed at Kings Palace hotel in Tenkasi near new bus stand (non-ac 750, ac 1350; plus taxes, 24hr checkout). Decent place. Clean and the attached restaurant is Ok. Visit Kingspalace.in website.

20th Oct -> Tenkasi Viswanathar temple is a must visit and of course there is Courtallam falls as well. Took the 7pm train back to Chennai.

10  Thank AminaRai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

This temple in the lines of Tirupathi needs to be preserved and the government is doing it such that due to heavy rush every year, the timing of the temple was last changed to enable more people to have darshan. There are golden steps and the temple roof is gold and the deity is very small and hence one should have vigil in praying infront of the deity as normally all the pictures, it is seen that the deity is big. Stay put for the evening 11pm Harivarasanam rendered by the great singer- Yesudas who is Christian by birth and the Vavar swamy is Islam. The relgious harmony can be seen in this temple only...

5  Thank KSCNAIR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

It is situated near Pattinamthitta,kerala state in India. A place known for Devotees of Sri swamy AYYAPPA . People all over south and other places of India visits this place each and every year and benefit the blessings of God AYYAPPA. Near by states devotess visit ever month in the first week of the month. More people during the period from October to Jan 3rd week will take special viradham and do poojas in the name of God. And they wear mala and follow disciplined day to day cores attend poojas at temple morning and evening prayers in the name god will be carried out. Some people will have 48 days viradham and decide to go to Sabrimala by walk thro' hill from Arimala. It is a visual treat and also people believe that if strictly follow viradham certain God Ayyappa will look into the needs of them. I really benefitted from this pilgrimage and nearly 6 to 7 time during the period 18 to 30 yrs of age

6  Thank SuriCoimbatore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2011

Manjunathswamy temple at Dharmasthala is the major pilgrim attraction in the area. No trains are available, closest station is Mangalore(75kms). Regular cheap Bus services from Mangalore available. Buses from Bangalore are also available. Nearest Airport is Mangalore. At Dharmasthala, u will get accomodation at very cheap price of Rs 20/- per night., so there is always a rush for accomodation. Temple opens at 0600-1500 and 1900-2300. Special darshan also available for Rs 150/-. Free Lunch and dinner available at the temple. Cheap restaurants are also available outside the temple. Overall a good experience.

3  Thank Sunny04_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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