Sathyamaya Pathinettupadiye Saranam Ayyappa

There are several mythologies regarding the significance of the Pathinettupady (18 steps). One popular belief is that the first five steps signify the five indriyas or senses (eye, ears, nose, tongue and skin), the eight steps signify the ragas (thathwa, karma, krodha, moha, lobha, madha, mathsarya and ahamkara), the next three steps denote the gunas (satwa, rajas and thamas), and the last two steps denote vidhya and ignorance. The other belief is that the eighteen steps denote the eighteen puranas. Apart from these, some are of the belief that the eighteen steps denote the eighteen weapons with which Load Ayyappa destroyed the evil. Whatever may be the belief, the crossing of these eighteen steps would take the devotee closer to self realization.

The erstwhile granite stones of eighteen steps have been covered with panchaloha (combination of five metals) in the year 1985. The steep steps are important and holy that no one is to climb them without fasting for 41 days and carrying the sacred irumudi on head.

The Pathinettampadi can be used only for ascending the temple. Before ascending the steps, pilgrims break coconut as an offering to the steps.