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Pathinettampadi (18 Steps)

steps18Normally the steps leading to a temple are forgotten the moment one steps on to the holy premises, but not in the case of the pathinettampadi. The significance of the sathyamam ponnu pathinettampadi is next only to the idol of Lord Ayyappa. In fact, only those devotees carrying an irumudi are allowed to enter the temple premises through the pathinettampadi. Droplets of ectasy trickles into one's mind at the very sight of the 18 golden steps. The devotee, after the hazardous 6-km trek on the forest road from Pamba, breaks a coconut carried in the irumudi before stepping on to the pathinettampadi.

Till a few years ago, pilgrims used to break the coconut on the step corresponding to the number of the pilgrimages undertaken. However, after the pathinettampadi was coated with panchaloha, they aren't permitted to do so and instead have to break the coconut on a stone at the foot of the steps.

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