Kerala

Sabarimala set for Makaravilakku

A view of the crowd at the Lower Tirumuttom of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Tuesday evening.

A view of the crowd at the Lower Tirumuttom of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Tuesday evening.   | Photo Credit: LEJU KAMAL

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Thousands throng the holy hillock to worship the ‘celestial star’ today

Thousands of Ayyappa devotees from different parts of the country began to camp at the holy hillock to worship the `Makarajyoti’ on Makaravilakku day on Wednesday.

The Sannidhanam and surrounding forest areas have almost been occupied by pilgrims eagerly awaiting the sighting of the celestial star that appears on the eastern horizon at Ponnambalamedu facing the Ayyappa temple.

Almost all vantage points at the Sannidhanam have been occupied by pilgrims. Disregarding the restrictions, many have occupied even rooftops of high rise buildings and started cooking food on the hillside. This is besides the scores of pilgrims camping in makeshift tents on the hillsides in the forest areas of Paandithavalom, Malikappuram, Urakkuzhy, Pulmedu, Uppupara, Nilackal and Attathode.

Pilgrims camping in the forests were not at all bothered about the lack of basic facilities there. They were in a divine frenzy, singing bhajans all through.

Makarasankrama puja

Tantri Kandararu Maheswararu Mohanararu, assisted by Melsanthi A.K. Sudheer Namboodiri performed the purification rituals as a prelude to the Makasankrama puja.

The Makarasankrama puja will be performed at 2.09 a.m. on Wednesday. The Neyyahhishekom, `Sankramabhishekom’ as is called, to the presiding deity will be performed with the ghee brought from Kowdiar Palace in Thiruvananthapuram.

The sanctum sanctorum which was opened on Tuesday afternoon will be closed only at 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday. It will be reopened for the daily rituals at 4 a.m.

Thiruvabharanam

The procession carrying the sacred jewellery, Thiruvabharanam, from Pandalam Palace will reach the Sannidhanam by 6.20 p.m. on Wednesday. The presiding deity will be adorned with the Thiruvabharanam prior to the deeparadhana.

The Makaravilakku deeparadhana at Ponnambalamedu will be performed in the next few minutes after the deeparadhana at around 6.30 p.m.

According to Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) sources, a senior priest attached to the board will be performing the deeparadhana at Ponnambalamedu. A team of security personnel, that include TDB officials, would escort the priest to Ponnambalamedu, TDB sources said.

The Ayyappa temple will be closed after facilitating the customary holy darshan exclusively by royal representative R. Pradeepkumar Varma on January 21 morning, marking the culmination of this year’s Makaravilakku pilgrim season.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:18:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sabarimala-set-to-witness-makaravilakku/article30567647.ece

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