Sabarimala Sannidhanam witnessed heavy rush as hundreds of devotees from different parts of South India thronged the holy hillock to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa Temple on the first day in the Malayalam month of Kumbhom on Saturday.

The rituals began with the Tantri, Kandararu Maheswararu, performing Ashtadravya Ganapati homom in the morning.

Mr. T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, accompanied by his wife Chandralekha, son and grandchild, reached Sabarimala Sannidhanam in the evening.

Mr. Nair also offered a feast, Pampa Sadya, to the Ayyappa devotees at Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala at 1 p.m., before undertaking the holy trek. Devaswom Commissioner, P.V. Nalinakshan Nair and other devaswom officials received Mr. Nair at Pampa.

He is camping at the Sannidhanam and will return after the holy darshan at the Ayyappa shrine on Sunday morning.

Ambanis at Sabarimala

Meanwhile, the Reliance ADAG Group chairman, Anil Ambani and his mother, Kokilaben, reached Pathanamthitta by 6 p.m. in a private helicopter and had proceeded to Pampa by road, later.

Mr. Ambani himself drove the car from the helipad prepared at the public stadium at Pramadom near here, after waving at the crowds assembled there.

The Ambanis had their customary ‘kettumurukku’ ceremony at the Pampa Ganapati Temple premises and ascended the holy Neelimala with the Irumudikkettu (sacred bundle) resting on their heads.

They are camping at the Sannidhanam and will offer prayers at the Ayyappa shrine on Sunday morning.

Kalabhabhishekom performed

A Kalabhabhishekom ritual was performed at the Ayyappa Temple prior to the Utchapuja on Saturday.