Kerala

Preparations for Makaravilakku begin

Devotees thronging the Sannidhanam at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Monday.

Devotees thronging the Sannidhanam at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Monday.

In the wake of a steady rise in pilgrim footfalls during the second leg of the ongoing pilgrimage season in Sabarimala, a high-level meeting convened here on Monday issued directions to erect barricades at the locations designated for viewing the Makaravilakku.

As per estimates, around 1.30 lakh people visited the temple in the first three days of the ongoing Makaravilakku season and the number is expected to go up further in the days closer to the festival on January 14.

Officials said the security arrangements at the various camp sites and view points were being made based on directions from the State police. Besides the points in the adjoining forests of the hill shrine, the devotees may be permitted to view the Makaravilakku from the various vantage points in Idukki district.

Meanwhile, the authorities have also decided to permit devotees to lay ‘viri’ at the hilltop even during the day-hours. With more devotees opting for the forest route vial Karimala, the time for entry into the path from Erumeli has been extended by an hour.

Meanwhile, the customary procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam (sacred jewellery of the presiding deity at Sabarimala) will set off to Sabarimala from the Valiya Koyikkal temple at Pandalam at 1 p.m. on January 12.

Addressing a meeting convened by the Pathanamthitta District Collector Divya.S.Iyer on Monday to review the arrangements in place for the procession, K.Ananthagopan, president of the Travancore Devaswom Board, said the procession will be taken out in adherence to the customs and traditions.

According to Mr.Ananthagopan, special passes will be issued to those taking part in the procession and the provision for drinking water, snacks and accommodation too will be taken care of. The Forest Department, meanwhile, has been requested to restore the forest route through Pullumedu.

The District Collector has directed the local bodies through which the procession passes to make necessary arrangements. Representative of the Pandalam palace trust and the various local bodies and government departments also attended the meeting.

The presiding deity at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple will be adorned with the sacred jewellery prior to the deeparadhana ritual on Makaravilakku day.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 4:53:27 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/preparations-for-makaravilakku-begin/article38100725.ece