Temple will reopen on April 10 for Vishu festival
The 10-day annual festival at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala came to a close with Arat in the Pampa on Wednesday.
The presiding deity was taken to Pampa in a ceremonial procession with the accompaniment of a caparisoned elephant and temple orchestra in the morning.
Tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu, assisted by Melsanthi N. Damodaran Potti, performed the Arat puja at Pampa between 11 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. The deity was seated at the Maha Ganapati temple precincts at Pampa for the devotees to offer prayers till 3.30 p.m. Devotees from different parts of the State as well as from the neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh attended the ceremony.
M.P. Govindan Nair, Travancore Devaswsom Board president; Subhash Vasu, board member; R. Balakrishna Pillai, former Minister; Thennala Balakrishna Pillai, Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom national president; K. Babu, Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court, and K. Sankaranarayana Pillai, Sabarimala executive officer, were among those who attended the ceremony. The Arat procession returned to the Sannidhanam in the afternoon and the Tantri brought down the ceremonial flag on the golden temple mast, bringing an end to this year’s temple festival. The temple was closed after the Athazhapuja, later. The Ayyappa temple will reopen on April 10 afternoon for the Vishu festival that begins the next day.
The auspicious Vishu will be celebrated on April 14 and the temple will be closed after the monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Medom on April 18 evening.