Reception given to representative of Pandalam royal family
The representative of the Pandalam Palace, Dileep Varma, was accorded a customary reception on his arrival at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam from Pampa on Thursday afternoon.
The royal-designate had escorted the Thiruvabharnam in a ceremonial procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala on Tuesday. He stayed back in Pampa as is the custom.
The royal representative was greeted with traditional temple percussion. P.N.Narayanan Namboodiri, head priest (Melsanthi), washed his feet before he ascended the holy Pathiettampady (18-steps).
He offered prayers at the Ayyappa Temple before leaving for the Malikappuram Devi Temple complex where he would stay for the next three days. The royal-designate will oversee the rituals at the Ayyappa Temple in the next three days.
The Kalabhabhishekom marking the culmination of the Neyyabhishekom ritual during the Makaravilakku festival will be performed at the Ayyappa shrine before the Utchapuija on Saturday.
The Guruti ritual at Malikappuram will be held on Sunday evening, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage during the Makaravillaku festival.
The temple will reopen for a few minutes on Monday morning to facilitate the customary holy darshan exclusively for the royal representative.
He will leave Sabarimala for Pandalam with the Thiruvabharanam in a ceremonial procession.
There was heavy rush of pilgrims to the forest temple on Thursday. The majority of the pilgrims were from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, according to Travacore Devaswom Board sources.
The police regulated the flow of pilgrims by periodically blocking them at Saramkuthi and at the Valiya Nadappanthal.