Travancore Devaswom Board » History of Temple

History of Temple

Sabarimala Dharmasastha temple is situated in Ranni Perunad Panchayath of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. The temple is believed to be founded by Sri Parasurama during the foundation of Kerala. The temple was owned by the King of Pandalam and administered by “Rani Kartha” for long time.

When Kingdom of Venad conquered Pandalam and merged it with Venad to form the Kingdom of Travancore, the temple management was vested with Travancore. When the Travancore Devaswom Board was formed, the temple administration and maintenance come under TDB.

There were references of King of Pandalam, Cheerappan chira family and Vavar family linked with the temple before formation of Travancore. After the formation of the Travancore kingdom, all disputes of the privileges were settled with the verdict from Supreme Court and then on the Travancore Devaswom board is administering all rituals.

The temple was burned a few times. In the last century, damage was caused to the temple due to fire in 1902 and 1950. A fire broke-out in January 1902, (ME 1079 Dhanu 30th) causing damage to the temple. Reconstruction of temple was completed by 25th March 1910 (ME 1085 Meenam 12).

There was another major fire in 1950 causing damage to temple and deity. The reconstruction was completed and the new deity was made by the Thanthri, Kandararu Shankararu of Thazhaman illam on 18th May 1951 (ME, 1126 Edavam 4th).

A landmark incident in the last century at Sabarimala temple is the pilgrimage of the Travancore King on 1940. Sri Chithirathirunal Maharaja along with the Maharani and Diwan of Travancore made pilgrimage to the temple on May 13th, 1940. This has initiated major development activities for the infrastructure of the temple. The roads and related access to the shrine were build after the pilgrimage.

There are many references about the temple and its festival in the Travancore government procedures and reports by the Europeans who made survey on the Western Ghats.