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Thiruvabharanam is the sacred ornaments of Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple. The ornaments are made of gold. It is believed that these ornaments are made at the orders of the Pandalam King, who adopted Ayyappan as his child. Thiruvabharanam is kept at Srambickal Palace,[1] which is close to the Valiyakoikkal Temple, inside the Pandalam Palace premises. At the end of the pilgrim season every year, the ornaments are taken to Sabarimala as a procession and poojas are performed on the idol adorned with the ornaments. After the season, the ornaments are taken back to the Srambickal Palace for safe custody. Thiruvabharanam and the caskets are made available for darshan at Srambickal palace during the pilgrim season (typically from 2nd week of November till the eve of the procession day) and at Valiyakoikkal Temple on the day of the procession.



Three caskets are used for carrying Thiruvabharanam, pooja utensils, and special flags to Sabarimala. They are the Thriuvabharana Petti (sacred ornaments casket), the Velli Petti (silver vessel casket), and the Kodi Petti (flag casket). These contain the following:

Thiruvabharana boxEdit

Golden face mask Prabha Mandalam Big coiled sword Small coiled sword Mini replica of elephant in gold
Mini replica of tiger in gold Silver covered right hand spiral conch shell Lakshmi Roopam Ceremonial plate for carrying flowers Navaratna ring
Sarapoli Mala (necklace) Velakku Mala (necklace) Mani Mala (necklace) Erukkum Poomala (necklace) Kanchambaram

Velli PettiEdit

Pot for Kalasam Pooja utensils

Kodi PettiEdit

Elephant caparison Jeevatha
Flags of Thalapparamala and Udamparamala Mezhuvatta Kuda


Towards the end of each pilgrim season, a procession carrying the holy caskets containing the sacred ornaments proceeds towards Sabarimala around January 12 every year.[2] At around 1 in the afternoon on that day, a brahminy kite, popularly known as Sree Krishna Parunthu,[3] is sighted circling above the temple and this is considered as an omen to start the procession.[4][5][6] Devotees believe that the kite is Garuda accompanying the procession.[7]

Traditional customs forbid the titular king of Pandalam to travel to Sabarimala. Instead, he nominates another person from the family to accompany the procession as his representative. The representative follows Thiruvabharanam procession on a palanquin. On the day of Makara Jyothi, Ayyappa's idol at the Sabarimala temple is adorned with Thiruvabharanam. After the pilgrim season, the return procession of the Thiruvabharanam starts from Sabarimala and reaches back Pandalam.

The Thiruvabharanam procession follows the traditional routes through forests, hills, and rivers. A team of representatives (not belonging to the Royal Family) takes the holy caskets on their heads and goes to Sabarimala by foot. The procession is accompanied by hundreds of devotees and armed policemen. The procession is warmly welcomed by different associations and temples on the way to Sabarimala and back.

The Thiruvabharanam procession takes a traditional route to Sabarimala, covering a distance of 83 km by foot.[8] One the first evening, the procession reaches Ayroor Puthiyakavu Devi temple via Kaipuzha, Kulanada, Ullannoor, Parayankara, Kuriyanipallay, Kooduvettickal, Kavumpady, Kidangannur, and Aranmula.[8] On the second day evening it reaches Laha via Peroorchal, Keekozhoor, Aayickal, Pulickamoozhy, Kuthukallinpady, Mandiram, Edakkulam, Vadaserikkara, Madamon, Perunad, and Puthukkada.[8] On the third and final day, the entourage reaches Sabarimala in the evening, via Plappally, Elavumkal, Nilackal, Attathode, Kollamoozhy, Vellachimala, Aettappetty, Oliyampuzha, Valiayanavattom, Cheriyanavattom, Neelimala, Appachimedu, and Saramkuthi.[8]


  1. ^ "Thiruvabharanam darshan resumes at Pandalam Palace". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Thiruvabharanam procession to set off from Pandalam today". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Thiruvabharanam procession begins". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Thiruvabharanam procession begins". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Thiruvabharanam procession sets off". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Thiruvabharanam procession to begin Saturday". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Makara Jyothi - the glow of enlightenment". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d "Thiruvabharanam procession to take traditional path". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2014.