Staff Reporter

Guruti performed at Malikappuram Devi temple

Hundreds of devotees take part in

‘Vilakkinezhunnellathu’ ceremony

Holy darshan of royal representative today

PATHANAMTHITTA: The two-month-long Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple came to a close with the ‘Guruti’ ritual at Malikappuram on Saturday evening.

The five-day customary Vilakkinezhunnellathu ceremony in the last lap of the Makaravilakku festival concluded with the ceremonial procession from Malikappuram Devi Temple to Saramkuthi, on the trekking path, on Friday.

Hundreds of devotees from different parts of the country undertook their annual pilgrimage to the holy hillock on Saturday.

Tantri Kandararu Maheswararu, assisted by Melsanthi T.K. Krishnan Namboodiri, performed the Padipuja at the 18 steps after the Pushpabhishekom ritual at the Ayyappa temple in the evening.

The temple was closed with the accompaniment of the sacred lullaby, Harivarasanam, after the Athazhapuja.

Guruti performed

The Guruti ritual to propitiate the Bhoothagana of Lord Ayyappa was held on the Malikappuram Devi Temple premises, later, marking the culmination of the annual pilgrim season.

The Guruti was performed by Kunnackattu Janardhana Kurup who got the hereditary right to perform the ritual.

Raghava Varma Raja, representative of the Pandalam Palace, supervised the ritual. The Melsanthi will open the Ayyappa shrine at 6.45 a.m. on Sunday to facilitate an exclusive holy darshan to the royal representative. None other than the royal-designate will be permitted to enter the ‘sopanam’ on the occasion.

The temple will be closed by 7 a.m. and the royal-designate will climb down the holy 18 steps to take the Thiruvabharanam back to Pandalam in a procession, later.