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Sabarimala 
Sabarimala 
Kerala

Lakhs of Pilgrims to witness ‘Makara Jyothi’ in Sabarimala today

Agency News

Sabarimala, Jan 14 : The two-month long pilgrim season will end on Monday with the darshan of 'Makara Jyothi' (celestial star) by lakhs of Lord Ayyappa devotees in Sabarimala.

Before that, the idol of Lord Ayyappa will be adorned with 'Thiruvabharanam' to be brought from Pandalam Valiakoikkal temple. As part of Makara Sankrama pooja, a 'Neyyabhishekam' will be performed by using the 'ghee' brought from erstwhile Travancore Royal Palace.

The Sankrama pooja will be performed during the transit of Sun from Dhanu Rasi to Makram Rasi. The 'Thiruvabharanam' procession, set off from Pandalam on Saturday carrying the sacred jewellery, will reach Saramkuthi here at 4 pm tomorrow and then escort it to Sannidhanam.

It will be received by top officials of Police Department and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), in front of the flag mast. Tanthri Kandaru Rajeevaru and Head Priest VN Vasudevan Nampoothiri will receive the 'Thiruvabharanam' box at the Sopanam. Later, Lord Ayyappa will be adorned with the sacred jewellery and the Deeparadhana will be performed. Makara Jyothi can be seen at Ponnambalamedu at this time.

During the Deeparadhana, the sighting of the celestial star (Makara Jyothi) on the eastern horizon of the Sannidhanam will also be performed atop Ponnambalamedu, a distant hill deep inside the forests facing Sabarimala.

According to the heads of various departments, better facilities have been arranged for the pilgrims in connection with the Makaravilakku festival.The Police and the Forest departments have identified a few places where the pilgrims may assemble in large numbers to witness the Makara Jyothi.

Police, Fire Force and Excise Departments have inspected the areas where the pilgrims wait to see the Makara Jyothi and ensured the foolproof security arrangements.NDRF, RAF and police force have made arrangements for the safe and smooth return of the pilgrims from Pandithavalam to Pamba in phases after witnessing Makara Jyothi.

After the customary holy Darshan to be facilitated exclusively for the royal representative from the Pandalam Palace on January 20, the temple will be closed marking the culmination of the annual Makaravilakku festival. (UNI)