Sabarimala (72 Km from Pathanamthitta) is a famous pilgrimage centre in Kerala. Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad.
Pampa Maha Ganapathi Temple
Pampa (8 Kms from Sabarimala) also known as 'Thriveni Sangamam' - the meeting point of three rivers, has an important roll in the Sabarimala pilgrimage. Pampa is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. There are 102 steps to Pampa Maha Ganapathi Temple. Breaking of coconuts is the main offering here. Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabareepeedam, Saramkuthi are the other holy places enroute.
Erumeli Sastha Temple
Erumeli Temple lies about 38 Kms, south from Kottayam. Erumeli Sastha Temple is very famous and has an important place in the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. There is also a Muslim Mosque very near to the Sastha Temple. The pilgrims (Ayyappan's) go to Sabarimala, after worshipping at these two shrines showing Hindu-Muslim harmony. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala without 'Pettathullal' at Erumeli and worship at the above mentioned temples are not traditional.
Pandalam Valiyakoyuckal Temple
Sri Dharma Sastha of Pandalam Valiyakoyickal Temple is 'Dharma Deva' to the King to Pandalam. One of the Major events associated with the ' Makaravilakku' Festival is the procession carrying the ' Thiruvabharanam' of Lord Ayyappa from t his Temple. The nearest town and railway station is Chengannoor-12 Kms.
According to legend Ayyappa as a babe was found lying of the banks of the river Pampa, by the Raja of Pandalam. The Raja considered the child as a God-given gift and brought him up royally. As a child Ayyappan had heavenly splendour, super human wisdom and physical powers.
Kulathupuzha Sastha Temple
The Sastha Temple at Kulathupuzha is very ancient. The idol at Kulathupuzha is called 'Manikandan'. It is believed that the Temple was constructed by the Raja of Pandalam. But the idol was discovered by a Brahmin from Kottarakkara after several years and he started pooja there. The King of Kottarakkara heard about this and constructed the present temple. Feeding to the fishes in the nearby river is an important 'vazhipadu' in the Temple.
Achankoil Sastha temple
Achankoil Sastha (Arachan) temple is a sacred place of worship where pilgrims from Kerala and Tamilnadu come through out the year. The temple is situated at Kandamala where the God is said to have given 'Darshan' to a worshipper who entered into a long term penance. The main festivals season is during 'Mandalam'. The nearest town and railway station is Shenkottah.
Aryankavu Sastha Temple
The legend behind the Ayyappa of Aryankavu is similar to that of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha. The only difference between the two are that Sastha was brought up by the Pandi Raja of Madura and not the Raja of Pandalam. The temple is constructed about 35 feet below the road level. There is a beautiful water fall known as 'Palaruvi' in the dense forest area about two kilometres away from the temple premises. It is believed that Ayyappa had relationship with Sourashtrans while living in the palace of Raja of Madura. Even now Sourashtrans reach here group during the time of ' Mandalapooja'. The temple rests 86 Kms. on the Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottah road.
Nilackal Mahadevar Temple
This is an important Temple enroute to Sabarimala in between Plappally and Pampa. This is an intermediate halting area (with parking facilities).