Thousands witness 'Makarajyoti' at Sabarimala

Thousands witness 'Makarajyoti' at Sabarimala

Thousands witness 'Makarajyoti' at Sabarimala

Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country on Wednesday converged to witness the “Makarajyoti”, a celestial star toward the east of the “sannidhanam”, and the “Makaravilakku”, the symbolic “deeparadhana” at Ponnambalamedu facing the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

The evening rituals at the “sannidhanam” had a formal start with the arrival of the “thiruvabharanam” – the sacred jewellery of the deity – around 6:45 pm in a ceremonial procession that started at Pandalam on Monday.

The deity was adorned with the “thiruvabharanam” by Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru and others and the “deeparadhana” performed at about 6:50 pm. Closely following the “deeparadhana” at the “sannidhanam”, the flame lit as part of corresponding rituals held at Ponnambalamedu was sighted against the backdrop of a cloudy evening sky. Later, the “makara sankrama puja” was performed at the “sannidhanam”.

Pilgrims had started thronging the base camp of the hill shrine in the southern district of Pathanamthitta since early Tuesday. Thousands had also been camping in forests leading up to the shrine.

Extensive security cover

Entry to the shrine was restricted at Pampa since Wednesday afternoon. The rituals on Wednesday marked one of the most crowded phases during the annual “mandalam” and “makaravilakku” seasons of pilgrimage. The temple that opened for the “makaravilakku” season on December 30 will close on January 20, signalling the end of the pilgrimage season.

Extensive security arrangements were made in and around the shrine against the backdrop of massive rush over the past couple of weeks.