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.