This pilgrimage to Sabarimala, in the mountains of Kerala takes place every year.
They are devotees of Lord Ayappa. They go through a 41 day penance abstaining from sex, meat and intoxicationg drinks before undertaking the trek up the forested mountain chanting the celebrated three words "Samiye, Saranam Ayappa ( Oh lord Ayappa, I come to thee for refuge).
The doors of the temple at Sabarimala are open to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, religion or social status.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Waiting for the train
An Ayappa pilgrim waiting for his train in Tirupati. He is on his way to Sabarimala, Kerala. The bag he is carrying on his head is called a Irumudi, a holy bundle. The two compartment bag contains coconut filled with ghee, clarified butter.