Lord Ayyappa is considered as one of the famous deity worshipped in kerala. In recent
times, not only in kerala, devotees from all around world started building temples
and worshipping Ayyappa. The fact is that, Ayyappa is believed to be the one god
who protects his devotees from miseries and suffering in “Kali Yuga”. Ayyappa is
also knows as Dharmasasta, Manikandan, Bhutanathan, Pandala Raja, and Pamba Vaasan.
Ayyappa is worshipped in many forms in different temples, worshipped as a child
at Kulathupuzha, worshipped with his consorts Pushpaka and Poorna in Achankovil
and meditating form in sabarimala. Ayyappa was born with composite energy of Lord
Siva and Lord Vishnu, when Lord Vishnu was taken over mohini form. Lord Vishnu gifted
a bejeweled bell necklace to the new born Ayyappa and thus, known as "Manikandan".
The main intention behind Ayyappa’s birth was to demolish Mahishi, one of the asura demon princesses who was threatening and plundering the world at that time. Pandalam King had found this boy in forest and taken to his palace. Ayyappa was lived in Pandalam Palace as the son of the Pandalam King. It is found that he had super-human or divine knowledge, wisdom, and courage. He learned Veda, Kalari (martial art) and other war tactics quickly. He had helped Pandalam king for protecting king and kingdom of Pandalam from enemy attacks. Ayyappa was forced to go to forest for seeking “Puli Paal” (tigress-milk) as his mother was suffering ill. Ayyappa went to forest and met Mahishi, fought with her and killed. He had released a beautiful woman who had been cursed to become Mahishi. The young woman proposed Ayyappa for marriage, but he declined, being a celibate (brahmachari). However he consoled her and promised that she would be housed next to him in his temple and would be visited by devotees, and if the number of new pilgrims (kanni swami) visiting him stopped, then he would marry her. Hence she is now worshiped as Maalikapurathamma.
After killing Mahishi,Ayyappa left Pandalam and went to Sabarimala, where he is worshipping in celibate meditation form. He promised his devotees that who ever comes to visit me with “Mudi kettu”, I will protect them from sufferings, miseries, illness. The very famous and important temple for Lord Ayyappa is Sabarimala itself. It is believed that over 50 million devotees are visiting this temple every year, which is of course making this temple second largest pilgrim center in this world. “Appam” and “Aravana” are the famous and special offering to Lord Ayyappa
Swamiyee Saranam Ayyappa !!!