The story of Ayyappa swami has found a place in the eighth chapter of Bhaagavatha shows the divinity of this south Indian god has spread across the length and breadth of India. Unlike other incarnations of god, is unique as it is authenticated and enriched by geography and related legends. Except for a few incompabilities between the story when it took place and the local version there are hardly any other authoritative legend in the history of India but for Lord Buddha’s.
The pandya dynasty that ruled the vast and prosperous kingdom of Madhura was attacked by Thirumala Naykar of Vijayanagar Kingdom (1300-1500 AD) scattering many facts of history. One Branch of scattered dynasty is the king who reached Kerala through Sivagiri. It was only due to the benevolence of the Travancore King that he could rule Pandalam. Rajasekhara Pandyan,the king of Pandalam, got infant Ayyappa Swamy from the banks of river Pamba. History and legend unite on this score.
Another special feature of the story of Ayyappa is the factual truths regarding its geography. Many small hamlets in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are witness to the story of Lord Ayyappa. It’s at least eight centuries since the story of Ayyappa Swami has been mentioned in Tamil, Malayalam and Sanskrit literature. It was not a simple story as it describes on every nook and corner of a dense forest where nobody can enter or trace any pathway until a century back. Sometimes devotees may wander about following the wrong path. But nobody needs to get confused about the truthfulness of the Lord’s Story.
Another interesting fact is that Ayyappa Swami stands out in the pages of Kambaramayanam written by the outstanding poet of Hindu Traditions namely Kambar. A temple for Lord Ayyappa who was bred in the Kshatriya clan was built by the Pandalam King. But it should be pointed out that it was Parasurama who installed the original idol.
Sabari who was born into the backward class was as aren’t devotte of Lord Rama. Incidentally Swamy Ayyappa’s temple happened to be in Sabari’s ashramam area. This is an indication that even before casteism could make its foray into our land, Sabarimala temple came into existence.
Stories related to Ayyappa that revolve around Kulathuppuzha, Achankovil,Arayankavu and Erumeli have many a different components to back up the credibility of the History of the divine power that resides on the Sabari hills, the traditions followed and the age of the temple. So the Sabarimala Swamy Ayyappan temple is unique in many ways.