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Sabarimala is in the Western Ghats and is named after Sabari-the tribal woman mentioned in Ramayana, who attained salvation after her meeting with Ram. Sabarimala is believed to be the abode of Lord Ayyappa and is visited by about one crore pilgrims every year. For 41 days devotees follow a controlled lifestyle. They eat only vegetarian food, refrain from consuming alcohol or tobacco and follow personal cleanliness and celibacy. Pilgrims wear only black clothes and don’t shave. Irrespective of caste, creed, social status or religious belief anyone can worship at the temple. Pilgrims are referred to as ‘swami’ during the pilgrimage. Offerings to Ayyappa are tied in a bag compartments known as irumudi. This contains a ghee-filled coconut, betel leaves and nuts, incense sticks. Pilgrims carry the offerings on their heads throughout the arduous journey chanting the slogan ‘swantiye saranam Ayyappa’ which means ‘Oh Ayappa! I seek refuge in you’. The steps to the temple represent the 18 Puranas. Close to the temple’s entrance, there is a temple to a Muslim disciple, Vavar Swamy, while those of two tribal chiefs, Kadutha Swamy and Karuppa Swamy, are positioned on either side of the steps.
(a) How did the pilgrim centre Sabarimala get its name?
(b) What is the controlled lifestyle followed by the pilgrims?
(c) What is the significance of ‘irumudi’?
(d) Why does the writer call the journey arduous?
(e) Write any two special features of the pilgrimage.
(f) Find out the word from the passage which means the same as the following: a place of worship,
(a) Sabarimala got its name after Sabari, the tribal woman mentioned in the Ramayana.
(b) The controlled lifestyle followed by the- pilgrims is that they eat only vegetarian food, refrain from consuming alcohol or ‘tobacco and follow personal cleanliness and celibacy.
(c) Offerings to Ayyappa are tied in a bag with compartments known as irumudi.
(d) The journey is arduous as the pilgrims carry the offerings on their heads throughout the journey.
(e) (i) All pilgrims are referred to as ‘Swami’ during the pilgrimage. (ii) Pilgrims wear only black clothes and don’t shave