The two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season at Sabarimala came to close with the customary Guruti held at Malikappuram on Friday evening.
The ritualistic Guruti to propitiate the cohorts (bhoothagana) of Lord Ayyappa was performed Kunnakkattu Kurup family of Ranni, who are the hereditary performers, after the closure of the Ayyappa Temple following the Athazhapuja in the evening.
The representative from the Paladalam Palace, Hari Varma Raja, supervised the ritual held in front of the Manimandapam at Malikappuram.
The five-day customary Vilakkinezhunnellippu procession too concluded with a ceremonial procession from Malikappuram Devi Temple to Saramkuthi on the traditional trekking path, held on Thursday midnight, marking the culmination of all major rituals in connection with the annual Makaravilakku festival.
Hundreds of devotees from different parts of South India attended the ceremony.
The temple Tantri, Kandararu Maheswararu, assisted by Melsanthi, N.Balamurali, performed the Padipuja followed by Pushpabhishekom at the Ayyappa shrine on Friday evening.
The Ayyappa Temple was closed with the melsanthi singing the divine lullaby, ‘Harivarasanam.. Viswamohanam…’, after the Athazhapuja, later, in the evening.
The melsanthi will open the Ayyappa shrine at 7 am on Saturday to facilitate an exclusive holy darshan for the royal representative before he returns to Pandalam. No other person will be permitted to enter the temple sopanam on Saturday and the temple will be closed, later by 7.15, marking the grand finale of the annual Makaravilakku festival.
The Thiruvabharanam will be taken back to Pandalam in a procession, later. The procession will halt at Laha Sathram on Saturday evening.
The procession will reach the Sastha Temple at Perinad on Sunday where the deity will be decorated with the sacred jewellery prior to the Utchapuja.
The Thiruvabharanam procession will have a night halt at Aranmula on Monday and the sacred jewellery will be brought back to Pandalam Palace on Tuesday morning.