Lakhs of devotees witness ‘Makara jyothi’, the celestial light at Sabarimala

Kochi, Jan 14: In the abode of Lord Ayyappa at hill shrine of Sabarimala, lakhs of pilgrims on Sunday evening witnessed the ‘celestial’ light that appeared on the horizon thrice in quick succession.

In the two-month peak festival season, which ends within a few days, the sighting of the  ‘Makara jyothi’,  the celestial light is considered as one of the most holy act.

It takes place every year on the first day of the Malayalam month in January.

Thousand of pilgrims witnessed Makaravilakku at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala on Sunday evening.

By Sunday morning itself, every inch of space at the temple top and the nearby hills was occupied by pilgrims, mostly from the southern states.

Soon after 6.45 p.m., the first light appeared, with the pilgrims cheering, followed by the second and third lights.

Situated in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 meters above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is 4 km uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from Kerala’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram.

The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.