The auspicious Utsavabalai ritual as part of the 10-day annual festival at Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala came to a close on Sunday afternoon.

Tantri, Kandararu Maheswararu, assisted by Melsanthi, G.Vishnu Namboodiri, performed the ritual after the Utchapuja at the temple.

Pallivetta

The ritualistic `Pallivetta’ was held at Saramkuthi on the traditional trekking path, later, in the evening.

The deity was taken out in a ceremonial procession to Saramkuthi on the trekking path with the accompaniments of a caparisoned elephant and the traditional temple percussion.

The deity was taken back to the specially prepared sanctum sanctorum at the northern mandapam of the temple, later.

Arat ceremony

The `Arat’ ceremony marking the grand finale of the annual temple festival will be held at the `Arat kadavu’ in river Pampa on the foothills on Monday forenoon.

The Tantri will lead the `Arat puja’ and `Utcha puja’ on the banks of river Pampa. The `Arat’ procession will return to the holy hillock, later around 10.30 pm and the temple festival will come to a close with the Tantri bringing down the ceremonial flag.

The Ayyappa Temple will be closed after the `Athazhapuja’, later.

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