SS Kovil Street, Trivandrum

A Guru Swamy at work. He's a tailor.

The Guru Swamy

The Guru Swamy holds a very important position among the millions of Ayyappa devotees in all the four South Indian states.

He's usually the first one in a social circle who has made the trip to Shabarimala shrine when the trip was treacherous and the path was filled with stones and thorns as a popular devotional song says. The Guru Swamy knows the rules and regulations that needs to be followed throughout the pilgrimage. The right way to tie the sack that all devotees carry on the head for instance.

He also knows about all the temples that come on the way to Shabarimala. And that's the reason he's made the leader of the pack.

This also rubs off on his life for the rest of the year and the leader ends up being called Guru Swamy for the rest of his life.

Guruswamy's modest tailoring shop


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