The story of Lord Ayyappa can be found on eighth chapter of Bhagavatha. Unlike other stories of god the story and myth of ayyappa, is unique as it is authentical by geography and related legends.
Ayyappa is a Hindu deity who is believed to be an incarnation of Dharma Shastha, the son of Shiva and Mohini. Myth says that an Asura named Bhasmasura got boon from Shiva for the ability to burn to ashes anything which he placed his hands over. After shiva granted this to Bhasmasura he threatened shiva to turn him to ashes. Shiva called Lord vishnu for help and taking into the female form of Mohini, Vishnu tried to trump asura's powers. He asked asura to keep his hand over his head and the asura was reduced to ashes. Lord Ayyappa used to wear a jewel around his neck and called by the name Manikandan meaning "With bell around the neck". Another myth depicts that an asura named mahishi was blessed by Brahma that she will be killed only by the son of Shiva and Vishnu. Ayyappa killed her and saved the world. Sabarimala is believed to be the place where Ayyappa meditated after killing asura Mahishi. Ayyappan's temple is situated in the middle of 18 hills.
It is said that Rajasekhara Pandyan, the king of Pandalam, got infant Ayyappa Swamy from the banks of river Pamba. As soon as Manikandan was going to be crowned as Yuvaraja the king's corrupt minister persuaded Queen and sent him to forest to collect milk of tigers as remedy for the queen's disease. Manikandan went to forest and came back after several days with tigers. The people who pretended confessed and King made a temple for Ayyappa at Sabarimala.
The annual festival at Sabarimala where the temple of Ayyappa is situated, an ever growing number of pilgrims comes to visit from all over South India. The annual festival at Sabarimala where the temple of Ayyappa is situated, an ever growing number of pilgrims comes to visit from all over South India. Over 30 milion devotees visit Sabarimala yearly making it one of the largest pilgrimage sites in the world. The devotee who has undertaken the sabarimala pilgrimage for eighteen years is called "Periya Swamy". The enchanting of "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" means , "Oh Ayyappa! I seek refuge in you".