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Sunday, 16 March 2014

How to do Irumudi kettu for Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple?

Ayyappa Devotees visiting the Sabarimala Temple carry the Irumudi – a specially designed bag with two compartments. This ceremony is referred as Kettunira or Palli Kettu. The front portion of the bag is meant for keeping the puja articles and other offerings to the deities at Sabarimala. The other compartment is meant for holding the personal belongings.
But nowadays both the compartments are filled with puja items. Earlier, the journey used to be of two to three days and therefore people used to carry provisions in the second compartment.
Puja Items Needed
A coconut filled with Ghee
Two coconuts
Arecanut (Supari)
Betel leaf
Turmeric Powder
Vibhuthi (Sacred Ash)
Rose Water
Avil (Beaten rice)
Malar (Puffed rice)
Jaggery or Small banana
Kalkandam (Sugar Candy)
Pepper (For Vavar)
Small bottle of honey (optional)
Dry grape (optional)
Towels (for personal use)
While buying the bag, make sure that it has enough space and can hold the puja items.
The ‘kettunira’ ceremony is done on the day of the pilgrimage. It is conducted usually in one’s own home or at a nearby temple.
How to prepare the ghee-filled coconut?
Take a small or medium sized ripe coconut. Polish the shell. Pierce a hole through anyone of the eye of the coconut. Drain the water and leave it to dry. (This should be done a few hours before the kettunira ceremony)
After praying to Lord Ganesha and to Ayyappa, it is time to fill the ‘mudra’ coconut with ghee. This ghee-filled coconut is the main offering to Lord Ayyappa.
This should be done by the devotee visiting the shrine by chanting ‘Swami Sharanam.’ After completely filling the coconut with fresh ghee, the opening of the coconut is corked and sealed using wax or other seals.
Filling the Front portion of the Bag
  • Rice is taken with both hands and is dropped into the front compartment of the Irumudi. This is done three times. Some devotees put the first rice along with a betel leaf. Family members can also fill rice in the front portion.
  • The ghee-filled coconut is then placed on top of the rice in the front compartment.
  • Coins, money, betel leaves and arecanut are also placed on top of the rice.
  • Other puja articles are separately wrapped and placed in the compartment this include – camphor, incense sticks, rose water, jaggery, sandal paste, vibhuthi.
Filling the Rear portion of the Bag
  • Two coconuts – one for breaking at the time of climbing the sacred 18 steps and another for breaking while coming out of the shrine.
  • Malar, avil, turmeric powder, and kumkum are separately packed and kept for Malikappurathamma in the rear portion.
  • Pepper is taken in this compartment of Vavar Swami.
If you want to fill the rear portion of the bag with personal items then these above mentioned puja items too can be filled in the front portion.
Once the Irumudi is filled, it symbolically represents the deity and it is held reverentially and is not kept on the ground. Usually it is placed on a sheet or wollen rug. If the journey is for more than one day, Pujas are done in the morning and evening on the Irumudi. While walking, the Irumudi is balanced on the head.

Sabarimala 2014 – 2015 Opening and Closing dates and Temple Timings

The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala is open for darshan only during certain specific periods in a year. Below are the dates on which the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple will remain open during 2014 – 2015.
The temple is open for monthly pujas for five days from the first of Malayalam month on all months in year. Other days when the temple is open are for Sabarimala Shrine festival, Vishu, Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary puja, Onam puja, Sri Chitira Attam Thirunnal, two months during the Mandalam Pooja season (November – December) and finally during the Makaravilakku Puja (January) season.

Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Calendar 2014 – 2015

Sabariamala 2014
January 2014 at Sabarimala
January 14, 2014 – Makaravilakku Puja
Temple open on all days in January till January 20, 2014
Temple closes at night on January 20, 2014.

February 2014 at Sabarimala

February 12, 2014 to February 17, 2014 – Kumbha Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
March 2014 at Sabarimala
March 14, 2014 to March 19, 2014 – Meena Masa Puja Monthly Puja

April 2014 at Sabarimala

April 3 to April 13 , 2014 - Sabarimala Annual Temple Festival.

Painguni Festival and Special Arattu Puja is on April 10, 2014
April 9, 2014 – April 17, 2014 – Vishu and Medam month Puja and Darshan

April 15, 2014 – Vishu Kani Darshan at the Temple
April 17, 2014 - Vishu Festival Ends
May 2014 at Sabarimala
May 14, 2014 to May 19, 2014 – Edava Masa Puja - Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
June 2014 at Sabarimala
June 7, 2014 – Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary puja
June 8, 2014 – Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary day
June 14, 2014 to June 19, 2014 – Mithuna Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
July 2014 at Sabarimala
July 16, 2014 to July 21, 2014 – Karkidaka Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
There is also a Niraputtari in this month and the date is decided by the Travancore Royal Family.
August 2014 at Sabarimala
August 16, 2014 to August 21, 2014 – Chinga Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
September 2014 at Sabarimala
September 5, 2014 to September 9, 2014 - Onam Puja.
September 7, 2014 – Thiru Onam Puja

September 17, 2014 to September 22, 2014 – Kanni Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.

October 2014 at Sabarimala
October 17, 2014 to October 22, 2014 – Thulam Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.

October 22, 2014 to October 23, 2014 – Sri Chitira Attam Thirunnal

November 2014 at Sabarimala
November 15, 2014 – Mandala Kalam Starts – Shrine open for 41 days
Temple open on all days from November 15 evening..

December 2014 at Sabarimala
Temple open on all days till the night of December 27, 2014 on all days.
December 27, 2014 – Sabarimala Mandala Puja - Temple closes in the evening
December 30, 2014 – Temple opens for Makaravilakku.

Sabariamala 2015

January 2015 at Sabarimala
January 15, 2015 – Makaravilakku Puja
Temple open on all days till January 20, 2015
Temple closes at night on January 20, 2015.
Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Timings
On the above days the temple usually opens at 0400hrs and closes at 1300 hrs and then opens again at 1600 hrs and closes at 2300 hrs.
Neyyabhishekam takes place from 0430 hrs to 1130 hrs.
During the peak seasons the timings might altered to accommodate the large number of devotees.
Daily Puja Timings

The Usual Puja Timings are as follows when the temple is open:
Temple opens at 0300 hrs (3: 00 AM)
Nirmalya Darshan is at 0305 hrs
Mahaganapati homam is at 0315 hrs to 1145 hrs
Neyabhishekam from is at 0315 hrs to 1145 hrs
Usha Puja (Morning puja) is at 07:30 hrs
Uccha Puja (Afternoon Puja) is at 12:30 hrs
The Temple closes afternoon at 13:00 hrs (01:00 PM)

Evening Puja
In the evening Temple opens at 15:00 hrs (3: 00 PM)
Deeparadhana (Evening puja) is at 18:30 hrs
Pushpa Abhishekam is at 19:00 hrs
Athazha Puja is at 23:00 hrs
Harivarasanam – at 23:30 hrs
The Temple closes for the day at 23:45 hrs