Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Pathanamthitta,  Kerala, one of the oldest and most famous Dharmasastha temples in the country has got a new name after Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the autonomous body managing the temples and its assets, decided to change the name of the hill shrine as Sri Ayyappa Swamy Temple. 

The order announcing the name change explains the decision by quoting a legend. 


According to the legend, centuries ago, Ayyappa Swami on completing his mission, merged with the Dharma Shastha at Sabarimala. This is how Sabarimala Dharmasastha temple became Ayyappa Swamy Temple. 

When the temple was rebuilt after the fire in 1950 the earlier deity, of Dharmasastha, was replaced by a panchaloha (five metals - gold, silver, lead, copper and iron) idol of Ayyapa Swamy. Sabarimala is the only temple in the world where Ayyappa Swamy is being worshipped. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every season. 

The order further states that though several Dharmasastha temples are belonging to Devaswom Board, this will be the only Ayyappa Swamy Temple. The order, signed by Devaswom Board Secretary is published on the website of TDB.