Lord Ayyappan is believed to be born out of the union of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, and is popularly known as Manikandan. He resides in the world famous Sabarimala temple located at the top of the Shabari hills- one of the largest pilgrimage sites in the world.
Manikandan took his incarnation on earth to end the evil deeds of Mahishi- the demon sister of evil Mahishasur. He was born with unlimited courage and unmatched wisdom.
He was raised by the generous king Rajashekhara and his wife. King Rajashekhara along with the divine architect Vishwakarma, was responsible for building the Sabarimala Temple.
The story of Ayyappan Swami has also found a place in Bhagvat Purana- the ancient Vedic literature. This shows the divinity of the God, whose popularity spread across the length and breadth of India around the 20th century.