Sabarimala ‘makaravilakku’ today: Thousands of pilgrims throng in for a view of ‘Makatajyothi’

Thiruvabharanam procession starts from Panthalam Kottaram on Friday.

Kottayam, Jan 14: The procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam (ornaments of the Lord) to drape in the idol of Lord Ayyappa will reach Sabarimala on Sunday.

The Makaravilakku festival will be held on Sunday.

Thousand of pilgrims would witness the famed Makaravilakku at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala Sunday evening. Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the hill shrine in view of the huge rush, with hundreds and thousand of devotees from across the country arriving at the Sabarimala.

The Makara Samkrama Pooja will be at 01.47 pm. Since the ‘sreekovil’ and ‘thirumuttam’ will have to be washed and cleaned for the ‘Makaravilakku’ festival, ‘Neyyabhishekam’ will take place only till 10.30 am.

Poojas will begin at 12 noon. First will be the noon pooja with 25 ‘Kalashabhishekams’. The ‘Samkramabhishekam’ will take place after the Makara Samkrama Pooja which begins at 01.30 pm.

Pilgrims won’t be allowed to climb in the afternoon hours as the procession carrying the deity’s ornaments, which he will be adorned with at the Makara Samkrama Sandhya, has to proceed. The climb will be allowed again after the Jyothi darshan.

Nobody will be allowed to take the ‘pathinettam padi’ once the temple sanctuary is closed after noon pooja. The restriction will remain until Deeparadhana at 06.30pm. The curbs are required because the steps will have to be cleaned and wiped with ash to facilitate the procession to go up.

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.