Sabari's role in vAlmiki rAmAyana's context:
Sabari was an aged tribal woman. She was an ardent devotee of rAma. She was told that rAma would, during his forest trek, be visiting her hermitage.
rAma and lashmaNa visited Sabari's hermitage, while searching for Sita, after her abduction by the demon rAvaNa.
Her role, therefore, appeared in Vol.3, Book of Forest Exile, AraNya kAnDa.
rAma and Lakshmana took a westerly path, as advised by the slain demon kabandha, towards pampa.
kR^itvaa ca shaila priShThe
tu tau vAsam raghu nandanau
pampAyAH pashcimam tIram
After resting that night on a mountain top, they reach the western side of the pampa lake.
The rest of the 31 verses dealt with Sabari's praying rAma, showing the Sage matanga's hermitage, Sabari's self-immolation in ritual-fire etc.
Our, this particular post, will confine to the location of Sabari's hermitage.
TOURIST location of Sabari's hermitage
kErala has a famous hill range 'sabarimalai' , the seat of the famous 'sabarimalai ayyappa temple'. Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit ayyappa temple every year, particularly during the festive days of makaravilakku. The temple is situated on the banks of pampa river.
The following wikimapia link shows the location of sabareepeeDam (seat of Sabari):-
http://wikimapia.org/10386478/Sabareepeedam-On-the-Way-to-Sabarimala-Temple. This link also has, the story of Sabari being told by creator to sit on waiting for rAma. It also mentions the matanga hill.
Claim of Sabari's hermitage in karnATaka
All the tourism stories of the great tourist site 'hampi' in BellAri District, near Hospet, karnATaka, invariably mention the hosting of rAma by Sabari at pampa.
Readers can see from the following link, the full scriptural proof, as per the Government digital library: http://www.dli.gov.in/data/upload/0047/977/TXT/00000011.txt.
Sabari village in Nasriganj Block, sasaRam district of bIhar.
This District is also called 'rohtAs District'.
This seems to be the real location of Sabari.
Geographical location link for map: http://www.satellitemap.co.in/bihar/rohtas/nasriganj/s/sabari/.
Reasons: 1. Neither kErala nor karnATaka have a tribe called 'sabar', to which Sabari belonged.
2. Sabars are forest-dwellers of jharkhand, chattisgadh, Orissa, and Northern Andhra Pradesh. This Region has a river by name 'Sabari' which is a tributary of gOdAvari. kharOd, chattisgaDh State, has a temple built for Sabari.
3. Our Sabari location should be proximate to vAlmiki rAmAyaNa's story. sasAram is the most proximate to the Ganga River, and is the place which has Sabar tribal population.
SABAR village in bhabhuva
Tehsil Name : Rampur
District : Kaimur (bhabua)
State : Bihar.
Link to see the map of this village: http://www.onefivenine.com/india/villages/Kaimur-%28Bhabua%29/Rampur/Sabar.
This link also contains the description of the Sabar village:
Sabar is one of the Village in Rampur Tehsil in Kaimur (Bhabua) District in Bihar State . Sabar is 17.7 km far from its District Main City Kaimur (Bhabua) . It is 152 km far from its State Main City Patna .
Nearest Towns are Kudra(8.7 k.m.) ,Kaimur (Bhabua)(17.7 k.m.) ,Bhagwanpur(18.1 k.m.) ,Bhabua(19.5 k.m.) ,
Amawan , Barkagawan , Belawan , Bhitari Bandh , Jalalpur , Kharenda are the villages along with this village in the same Rampur Tehsil
It is not clear how the scripture teacher-cum-writers of valmiki rAmAyana shifted the Sabari's location to South India.