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Lord Ayyappa temple reopens for ‘Makaravillaku’ festival

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Sabarimala (Kerala): The world famous hill abode of Lord Ayyappa temple will be reopened on Saturday evening for the ‘Makaravillaku’ festival, which falls on January 15, 2024.

The Sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) of the hill shrine will be opened by the Head Priest in the presence of “Thantri” (Chief Priest) at 1700 hrs. Later, the “Tantri” will light the sacred fire place (Aazhi) at the Lower Thirumuttam.

As part of Makara Sankrama pooja, a ‘Neyyabhishekam’ will be performed on January 15 by using the ‘ghee’ brought from erstwhile Travancore Royal Palace.

The Makara Sankrama pooja will be performed during the transit of Sun from Dhanu Rasi to Makram Rasi.

‘Makaravilakku’ and ‘Makara Jyothi’ Darshan, the most auspicious ritual of the two-month long annual pilgrimage will be held after adorning the idol with ‘Thiruvabharanam’, the sacred gold ornaments, which will be brought here from the Pandalam Valiyakoickal Sree Dharma Sastha temple.

The Chief Priest of the temple will perform the Deeparadhana on January 15 evening in the presence of the Head Priest.

Coinciding with the Deeparadhana, a star (Makara) will be visible in the eastern horizon, marking the auspicious time of the sun moving from ‘Dakshinayanam’ to ‘Utharanayanam’.

During the Deeparadhana, ‘Makara Jyothi’, the celestial light, will be flickered thrice at Ponnambalamedu, a distant hill deep inside the forests facing Sabarimala.

The Makara Jyothi can be seen from Sannidhanam, Pandithavalam, Pulmedu, Hilltop, Chalakayam, Attathodu, Saramkuthi, Neelimala, Marakootam.

After the customary holy Darshan to be facilitated exclusively for the royal representative from the Pandalam Palace on January 20, 2022, the temple will be closed marking the culmination of the annual Makaravilakku festival.

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