Mandala-puja at Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala, marking the culmination of annual 41-day penance during the Mandalam season, will be held as part of the Utchapuja on December 26.

The presiding deity will be decorated with the sacred golden attire, Thanka Anki, prior to the Mandala-puja.

The Tantri, Kandararu Maheswararu, told The Hindu that the Mandala-puja will be held in the auspicious Meenom raasi Muhurthom between 11.55 a.m. and 12.25 p.m. on December 26.

Thanka Anki

The Thanka Anki, weighing 420 soverigns, was presented to the Ayyappa Temple by the late Chithira Tirunaal Balrama Varma of the erstwhile Travancore royal dynasty as his offering to the presiding deity in

1973.

Since then, the golden attire is being carried to Sabarimala in a ceremonial procession for the Mandala-puja, every year.

According to Devaswom Executive Officer, V.S.Jayakumar, the procession carrying Thanka Anki will set off to Sabarimala from Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple on December 22 morning.

The sacred attire will be kept at the Aanakkottil of Sree Parthasarathy Temple from 5 am to 7 am for the devotees to have darshan.

The Anki will be taken to Pampa in a decorated motorised chariot.

Devotees will accord rousing reception to the procession at 51 points before it reaches Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala on December 25.

The procession will reach Pampa by 12.30 pm on December 25, accepting ceremonial receptions at Laha, Plappally, Nilackal and Attathode.

The Ayyppa Seva Sanghom volunteers will take the sacred attire to Sannidhanam from Pampa in another procession, later in the afternoon.

Travancore Devaswom Board authorities will receive the Thanka Anki when the procession reaches Saramkuthi on the trekking path. The Ayyappa idol will be adorned with the golden attire prior to the deeparadhana at the Ayyappa Temple, later, in the evening and also prior to the Mandala-puja on December 26.

The Ayyappa shrine will be closed after the Athazha puja, later, at 11 p.m., marking the culmination of the 41-day Mandalam festival.

The temple will reopen on December 30th afternoon for the Makarvilakku festival that begins the next day.