Thalassery Biryani

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Sabarimala

The Ayyappa temple’s layout follows Lord Ayyappa’s divine instructions, with Malikappurathamma on his left near Sannidhanam, and Vavur and Kadutha as guards at the sacred 18 steps’ base. Pilgrims honor these spots, highlighting the temple’s unique features. The temple’s inclusive ethos welcomes people of all faiths, embodying divine values like equality, fraternity, tolerance, and humanity, resonating with pilgrims.

The Ayyappa tradition promotes secularism and communal harmony, illustrating a global model. Pilgrims experience equality regardless of wealth or status, addressing each other as Ayyappa. En route to Sabarimala, they visit Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, engage in the “Petta Thullal” ritual, and pay respects at the Erumeli mosque.

Legend holds that the Sabarimala temple and Ayyappa are under the Pandalam Raja’s jurisdiction, requiring pilgrims to seek the King’s permission. A royal representative aids this process at Neelimala Hill’s foot. Pilgrims offer a nominal sum, receive vibhuti, and commence the challenging 3 km trek to Lord Ayyappa’s abode. The journey culminates at the Patinettampadi, the sacred eighteen steps, where devotees exclaim, “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!” celebrating their quest’s fulfillment.

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Sabarimala

Thalassery Biryani is a popular variety of biryani originating from the town of Thalassery in the Malabar region of Kerala, India. It is known for its unique flavors and preparation style, distinguishing it from other types of biryanis in the country. Here are some key features of Thalassery Biryani:

Thalassery Biryani is a popular variety of biryani originating from the town of Thalassery in the Malabar region of Kerala, India. It is known for its unique flavors and preparation style, distinguishing it from other types of biryanis in the country. Here are some key features of Thalassery Biryani:

  1. Fragrant Rice: Thalassery Biryani is traditionally prepared using a fragrant and flavorful rice variety called Kaima or Jeerakasala rice. This short-grain rice adds a distinct aroma and texture to the biryani.
  2. Rich Spices: The biryani is prepared using a rich blend of spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and star anise. The combination of these spices gives Thalassery Biryani its unique and aromatic flavor.
  3. Dum Cooking: Thalassery Biryani is typically cooked in the “dum” style, which involves layering partially cooked rice with marinated meat or vegetables in a sealed pot. The pot is then placed on low heat or even on hot coals, allowing the biryani to cook slowly in its own steam. This process helps infuse the flavors and aromas into the rice and meat.
  4. Meat and Protein: Thalassery Biryani is commonly prepared with meat, particularly chicken, mutton, or beef. The meat is usually marinated with a blend of spices, yogurt, and other ingredients to enhance its taste before it is layered with rice for cooking. However, vegetarian versions with vegetables or paneer are also available.
  5. Raisins, Cashews, and Onions: Thalassery Biryani is often garnished with fried onions, raisins, and cashews. These add a touch of sweetness and crunch to the biryani, providing a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.
  6. Accompaniments: Thalassery Biryani is typically served with raita (a yogurt-based side dish) and papadum (thin, crisp disc-shaped snacks). The raita helps balance the flavors of the biryani and provides a cooling element to complement the spiciness.

Thalassery Biryani has gained popularity not only in Kerala but also across India and even internationally. Its distinct flavors and cooking style have made it a favorite among biryani enthusiasts. Whether you are a fan of biryani or interested in exploring different regional cuisines, Thalassery Biryani offers a unique and delicious culinary experience.

The Pilgrimage Regulations

Lord Ayyappan The Legend

Lord Ayyappan The Legend

Lord Ayyappan The Legend

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The layout of the Ayyappa temple is believed to have originated from the specific instructions of the Lord himself, who wanted Malikappurathamma, on his left a few yards from Sannidhanam, and his trusted lieutenants Vavur and Kadutha to be positioned as his guards at the foot of the holy 18 steps. The pilgrims worship in this place also. This exemplifies the unique feature of the temple. The temple is open to all faiths. The divine qualities like equality, fraternity, tolerance, humanity etc.. are shining well in the pilgrims.

Ayyappa cult gives much importance for the secularism and communal harmony and has turned out to be a model for the whole world. Another significant aspect of the pilgrimage is that all the pilgrims whether rich or poor, learned or illiterate holding position or not master or servant are all equal before LORD AYYAPPA and all address each other as AYYAPPA.

The pilgrims on their sojourn to Sabarimala worship at Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha Temple and conduct “Petta Thullal”. They also worship in the mosque at Erumeli as a part of their pilgrimage.

According to legend, the temple of Sabarimala and the deity of Ayyappa have always been regarded as the Pandalam Raja’s very own. So permission from the King has to be attained before proceeding to the temple. To make it easy for pilgrims to obtain the necessary permission, a representative of the king sits with all the royal insignia, on a raised platform at the base of the Neelimala Hill. The pilgrims offer a token amount (not necessary) to the royal representative, and receive vibhuti from him.

This marks the beginning of the steepest climb of the pilgrimage, the 3 km trek up the majestic Neelimala Hill, atop which sits Lord Ayyappa in all his glory. The pilgrims wind their way up the difficult trail in an unending stream, the hill reverberating with the constant chanting of thousands.

At the first sight of the Patinettampadi, the holy eighteen steps, a full throated cry goes up from the devotees, “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa!” It is the realisation of a mission.

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