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The Sabarimala temple
At Pamba:-Devaswom Information Office-203339; Govt Hospital-203318; Police Station-203412; Petrol Pump-203346; Telephone Exchange-203398; 203399;
At Sabarimala Temple Complex (Sannidhanam):-Devaswom Information Office- 202085; 202004; 202038; Govt Hospital- 202101; Police Station -202014;
ACCOMMODATION:-Devaswom Guest House (for spot booking): 202056; 202049; Advance booking: Commissioner, Travancore Devaswom Board, Nanthancode, Thiruvananthapuram. Phone: 0471-2315156, 2316963, 2317983 (Booking also available at guest houses of Forest Department and Electricity Board) Accommodation facilities range from dormitories to cottages. (The rates are nominal, varying from Rs 10 to Rs 1000 per day)
FOOD:-Tea/coffee costs Rs 2 to 5; Dosa/Idli/Vada: Rs 3; Porotha Rs 4; Rice Meal Rs 20; Chappathi & Curry Rs 12; Tapioca (Kappa) Rs 6
CARRIAGE (Dolly): Rs 800 per person (for old, sick and disabled)
CARDIAC CLINICS: Free Govt clinic run by the Thiruvananthapuram/Trivandrum Medical College is stationed at the top of Neelimalai near Appachimedu. On an average 300 pilgrims are treated here a day during the peak festival season for various conditions associated with strain following continuous trekking of steep rocky terrain for about four hours. There is one hospital in the temple complex (Phone Nos. Appachimedu Clinic: 04735-202319; and Temple Complex: Hospital 04735-202080)
OXYGEN PARLOURS: A few parlours to ingest oxygen for those finding it difficult to breath during trekking are located alongside the track at various points. Those feeling breathing trouble should stop trekking immediately.
HOSPITAL: A full-fledged hospital is available in the temple complex (04735-202080), run by Mata Amritananda Mayi Trust
OFFERINGS: ARAVANA Payasom (250 ML) Rs 40; NEYYABHISHEKAM Rs 3; Rice Payasom and Rice Rs 5 each (both approx one kg each)
TRANSPORT: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses, private vehicles and taxis go up to Pamba. Route1: Chengannoor/Tiruvalla to Pamba 95 km. Route 2: Kottayam to Erumeli 55 km and Erumeli to Pamba 60 km. There is no train service.
RESTRICTIONS: As the deity at Sabarimala (Ayyappa) is 'Nithya Brahmachari', women and girls between the 12 and 50 years of age are not allowed to visit the place. Devotees are supposed to undergo certain rituals for 41 days prior to going on the pilgrimage. They grow beard and carry a bag of coconut, ghee etc on head, called 'irumudikettu'. They generally have to wear black clothes and wear a mala of beads. People of all faiths are allowed provided they follow the rules.
The pilgrims keep chanting 'Swamiye Saranamayyappa, Dharmasasthave Saranamayyappa' in praise of the Sastha deity
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