Thursday, July 16, 2015

'Bali Tharpanam' at Pamba

The plain land of Pamba river basin at the basement of Neelimala Hill of Sabarimala Temple is known as 'Pamba' itself.There is a KSRTC Bus Stand operating at 'Pamba' and the pilgrims to Sabarimala temple who usually prefer to climb only one hill goes to 'Pamba' while those who want to go by the traditional route by trekking two hills  goes to Erumeli, trek 'Karimala' and cross it by climbing down and reaches 'Pamba basin' at 'Pamba'.Then they also have to trek Neelimala to reach 'Sabarimala Temple Sannidhanam'.
It is believed that Lord Sri Rama and his brother Lakshman met an old lady Saint named 'Sabari' at her ashram (Sabari Ashram) on Neelimala Hill which was existed at 'Sabari Peetham' where pilgrims performs homage for her today.Lord Sri Ram and  Prince Lakshman were welcomed by the old Saint who was anxious to meet them before going to the eternal abode.She knew that Sri Rama would be coming to meet her and also knew  that he was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.She worshiped them  at her Ashram and offered the sweetest of fruits she plucked from the forest trees.Sabari who was performing penance for a long period was given blessing by Lord Sri Rama and she happily left this world  to the eternal abode and Lord Sri Ram obviously granted  her salvation.Lord Sri Ram and Lakshman performed ,Bali Tharpan' at Pamba.
The devotees of Sabarimala Ayyappa Swamy while on pilgrimage to Sabarimala Temple performs 'Bali Tharpanam' at Pamba as part of the pilgrimage itself.While at many other centres the 'Bali Tharpanam' ritual is performed on 'Karkidaka Vavu' and 'Thulam Vavu' days only, at Pamba, the pilgrims to Sabarimala temple can do it on any day of the Mandala-Makara Vilakku season. Before trekking the Neelimala, pilgrims take a dip in the holy river Pamba and perform 'Bali Tharpanam' on the banks of the river.
 During the Mandala-Makara Vilakku season Travancore Devaswom Board arranges 'Bali Thara' for performing 'Bali' and employ large number of  priests and experts who could guide the devotees to perform this ritual.Several 'Bali Thara' and priests will be arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims.Not only people from Kerala but also pilgrims from Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh perform Bali before trekking Neelimala Hill.
By performing this ritual, the forefathers  gets satisfied and bless the devotees.The bath in the cool river water and the confidence that the blessings of the forefathers are with them, makes the pilgrims fill with the positive  energy to trek the hill easily.
There are temples of 'Lord Ganapathy,Lord Sri Ram and Hanuman Swamy' at an elevated place at Pamba and after worshiping them at these shrines only the pilgrims start climbing the hill.The pilgrims expect Lord Ganesha known as 'Pamba Ganapathy' makes their trekking easy by removing every kind of obstacles and danger.The blessings of Hanuman Swamy will also provide the strength and confidence to them.

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