Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

Get access

(4,078 words)

The main temple to the deity Ayyappan – also known as Hariharaputra, Maṇikaṇṭan, Sartavu, and Śāstā (from Skt. śāstṛ, teacher) – is at Sabarimala (“Sabari Hill”), which is situated in Ranni-Perunad in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The annual pilgrimage to this site takes place during the Malayalan month of dhanu (Dec–Jan).

The uniqueness of the Ayyappan cult lies in its essential masculinity. Ayyappan is the penultimate brahmacārin, vowing a strict code of celibacy (see also āśrama)…

Cite this page
Sekar, Radhika, “Ayyappan”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 25 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲