The two-month long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season at Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala came to a close with the customary Guruti ritual held at Malikappuram to propitiate the Bhoothagana (cohorts) of Lord Ayyappa on Tuesday evening.
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 Monday 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 chief priest (tantri), assisted by the melsanthi, G. Vishnu Namboodiri, performed the Padipuja followed by Pushpabhishekom at the Ayyappa shrine on Tuesday evening.
The Ayyappa Temple was closed with the melsanthi singing the divine lullaby, Harivarasanam, after the Athazhapuja, later in the evening.
The Guruti ritual was performed at Malikappuram temple complex, later. The representative of the Pandalam Palace, Venugopala Varma Raja and Sabarimala Devaswom Executive Officer, V.S. Jayakumar, supervised the ritual.
The melsanthi will open the Ayyappa shrine at 7 a.m. on Wednesday to facilitate the exclusive holy darshan for the royal representative before returning to Pandalam.
No other person will be permitted to enter the temple sopanam on Wednesday and the temple will be closed later, marking the grand finale of the annual Makaravilakku pilgrim season.
The Thiruvabharanam will be taken back to Pandalam in a procession. The procession will halt at Laha Sathram on Wednesday night.
The Thiruvabharanam procession will reach the Sastha Temple at Perinad on Thursday where the deity will be decorated with the sacred jewellery prior to the Utchapuja.
The Thiruvabharanam procession will have a night’s halt at Aranmula on Friday and the sacred jewellery will be brought back to Pandalam Palace on Saturday morning.