Kochi, Feb 14: Sabarimala witnessed heavy rush on the first day of the five-day-long monthly rituals as part of the start of the Malayalam month of Kumbhom on Wednesday.
Majority of the pilgrims were from the southern States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Despite unprecedented police presence, the pilgrims could have darshan peacefully. The Sabarimala Karma Samithi has been maintaining strict vigil at the pilgrim centre, anticipating young women’s trekking. The first day passed off peacefully.
Police eased restrictions imposed earlier on the pilgrim movement. Accordingly, pilgrims would be provided more resting facility at the Valiya Nadappanthal and the Lower Tirumuttom. The rituals began with tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu performing Ashtadravya Maha Ganapati homom in the morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, laksharchana was performed. As many as 18 priests took part in the chanting of mantras. Brahamkalasapuja was performed prior to Utchapuja.
The tantri, assisted by melsanthi VN Vasudevan Namboodiri, performed kalabhapuja at the Namaskara Mandapam. The golden urns carrying brahmakalasom (holy water) and kalabham (specially prepared sandal paste) were taken out in a ceremonial procession to the sanctum sanctorum for the auspicious abhishekom prior to utchapuja.
The temple will be closed after athazhapuja on Sunday evening, marking the culmination of the rituals.