Thousands witness Makaravilakku at Sabarimala shrine

Thousands witness Makaravilakku at Sabarimala shrine

 Thousands of pilgrims at the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala witnessed the Makarajyoti – the appearance of the celestial star – as spiritual fervour peaked at the hill shrine on Friday. After the sighting of the star, pilgrims who came in from different parts of the country also witnessed the Makaravilakku, the symbolic Deeparadhana performed at Ponnambalamedu, around 6:50 pm.

Earlier, the Deeparadhana at the Sannidhanam was performed.
The deity was adorned with the Thiruvabharanam, the sacred jewellery, which arrived from the Pandalam Palace in a ceremonial procession that commenced on Wednesday.
The jewellery was received by the tantri (chief priest) Mahesh Mohanaru and the melsanthi (head priest) S E Sankaran Namboodiri.

The Makarasankrama puja was also performed at the temple. Pilgrims from across the country had since Wednesday started camping around the shrine and on the trekking routes in makeshift tents.

 On Friday, restrictions were also in place on entry of pilgrims from the foothills. Senior police and state government officials were also stationed near the temple to monitor the arrangements and security.  Popular actor Jayaram was among pilgrims who were at the hill shrine on Makaravilakku day. According to sources in the Travancore Devaswom Board, the administrative body which manages the temple, pilgrims from about 30 countries visited the shrine in Sabarimala during the 2015-16 season.

The Makaravilakku festival which commenced at the hill shrine on December 30 will end on January 20.

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