Friday, December 03, 2010

Pilgimmage Season

Yesterday while going to school, I noticed a couple of men holding fabric on their heads. It jogged my memory of last year when my friends and I spotted people carrying on this act both in Chennai and on our South India trip. These people are on their way to Sabarima in Kerala (in an area bordering Tamil Nadu) for the annual pilgrimage, which lasts 60 days. During this time, Hindu devotees of Lord Ayyappan are expected to perform twice daily prayers, do poojas, and other rituals. For at least 41 days, they must abstain from non-vegetarian food and "carnal pleasures." Pilgrims usually set out in groups under the direction of a leader, with each carrying an Irumudi kettu, a cloth bundle containing ritual items. Those who have made the pilgrimage and climbed the Pathinettam Padi at least 18 times are then known as a Guruswamy.
You can read more about the Sabarimala pilgrimage here

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