Hundreds of Ayyappa devotees, including women and children, thronged the Srambickal Palace adjoining the Valiyakoickal Sastha Temple at Pandalam to worship Thiruvabharanam, the sacred jewellery of the presiding deity of Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple on Thursday.

The Thiruvabharanam darshan began at the strong room of the Pandalam Palace from the beginning of the ongoing annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala on the first day in the Malayalam month of Vrischikom.

However, the Thiruvabharanam darshan was stopped abruptly from December 7 following the death of a female member of the Pandalam royal family and it was resumed after completion of the 11-day funeral rites on Thursday.

The darshan time is from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to palace sources.

Sacred jewellery

The Thiruvabharanam was offered to the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple by the king of the erstwhile Pandalam royal kingdom who is believed to be the foster father of Lord Ayyappa.

The sacred attire will be taken out in a unique ceremonial procession all the way from Pandalam to Sabarimala every year for the annual Makaravilakku festival to be held on January 14.

The ceremonial procession, escorted royal by a royal entourage, will set off from Pandalam on January 12th afternoon.

The procession carrying Thiruvabharanam will reach Sabarimala Sannidhanam on January 14 afternoon and the Ayyappa idol will be decorated with the sacred jewellery prior to the deeparadhana followed by sighting of the celestial star Makara up in the sky around 6.30 pm, later.

The Thiruvabharanam will be brought back to Pandalam Palace after the culmination of the Makaravilakku festival to be kept in safe custody at the palace strong room.

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