Come November 17, and all you can hear is the divine chants of ’Swami Sharnam, Ayyapa Sharnam’ synchronously recited by the Ayappa devotees. The most famous Ayyappan shrine is located in Sabarimala at the height of approximately 914 meters, amidst the beautiful hills of Pathanamthitta, Kerala. Millions of devotees from neighboring south Indian states and all over India flock to the place every year.
People prepare 41 days in advance, observing fast, abstinence, and austerity for the trip and usually travel in large group. They spend time chanting and listening to Ayyappan Bhakti songs. It is with great reverence and passion that people visit the hill shrine. It is open for the Mandala Pooja Season during the famous Makaravilaku (November – January). It ends with the famous Makarajyothi sighting.
Pamba is the base station for the Sabarimala temple pilgrims with serene views and a splendid river. They travel to the shrine barefoot with much fanfare, dance, and devotional songs praising him. One can listen to many super hit songs dedicated to Ayappa with Saregama player.
Ayappa is one of the most popular Hindu gods of growth, especially in South India. The deity is particularly popular in Kerala. There are several legends and myths regarding the origin story of Ayappa. While some believe he is originally a tribal deity, others see him as the celibate god doing yoga and as an epitome of dharma. As per another myth, he is an adopted child of a royal couple and is known as ‘Manikandan’ – because of the belief that his parents tied a golden bell around his neck.
The most popular belief is that he is the son of Shiva and Mohini (the female avatar of Vishnu). Therefore, he is popularly called Hariharaputra. This has led to the creation of many popular devotional Ayyappan songs in praise of him.
There are many famous singing legends like K. J. Yesudas, P. Susheela, K. S. Chitra, K. Veermani, and more who have sung the heartwarming Ayappa songs and devotees love singing them. Some of the popular Tamil songs include Poiyindri Meiyodu, Saranam Saraname Saranam Pon Ayyappa, Sabari Malai Meethil, Ayyappan Yendra, Pallikkattu Sabarimalaikku.
Harivarasanam is a Malayalam Ayyappan devotional song which is recited at Sabarimala. It is sung before the temple doors are closed and act as an Ayappa’s lullaby. The singing superstar K. J Yesudas has sung Harivarasanam, which you can listen to and download in high quality from Saregama’s website.
Dressed in black, the Ayappa devotees are asked for renunciation of all worldly pleasures during their pilgrimage to the hill shrine of Ayappa. But you can immerse yourself into absolute devotion to Ayyappan with eclectic devotional songs available at Saregama’s official website. If you are planning a trip to Sabarimala, make your own Ayappa Playlist with Saregama and set out for a blessed journey to connect with the divine.
Let’s say Swamiya Ayappo, Ayappo Swamiya..!