PATHANAMTHITTA: The annual Makaravilakku festival began at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple on Saturday with Tantri Kantaru Mohanaru performing Ganapati homom early morning. Travancore Devaswom Board president G. Raman Nair and Special Commissioner D. Sreevallabhan are camping at the Sannidhanam.
The Pettathullal at Erumely will be held on January 11. The ceremonial procession carrying the sacred golden attire (`thiruvabharanam') for Lord Ayyappa will set off to Sabarimala from Valiyakoickal Sastha Temple at Pandalam on January 12 afternoon. The temple will be closed after the customary holy darshan by the royal representative of the Pandalam Palace on January 20 morning.
The police have made elaborate arrangements at Sabarimala. Sureshraj Purohit has been posted as Police Special Officer in Pampa and Krishnabhadran at Sabarimala. A total of 1300 police constables have been deployed at the Sannidhanam, and 1,000 constables in Pampa for the first phase of the Makaravilakku festival, according to police sources.