Sabarimala (Kerala), Dec 26 (UNI) The world famous Lord Ayyappa temple here will be closed after the Mandala Pooja, marking the culmination of the 41-day pilgrimage season on Sunday, and reopen on December 30 for the ‘Makaravillaku’ festival, which falls on January 14, 2022.
The annual ceremonial procession, carrying Thanka Anki, the golden attire offered to Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala by the late Chithira Tirunal Balarama Varma of the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family, reached the hillock temple here from Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, on Saturday evening.
The golden attire was adorned on the idol for Deeparadhana on the Saturday evening. Lord Ayyappa would also adorn the sacred attire on Sunday for the ‘Mandala Pooja’ and after the ‘Athazha Pooja’ in the evening, later the shrine will be closed, marking the culmination of the 41-day pilgrimage season.
The golden attire weighing 420 sovereigns was offered by the king in 1973. Since then, it has been a custom to decorate the Ayyappa idol with this before the Mandala Pooja.
The procession, which had set off four days ago from Sree Parthasarathy temple at Aranmula, was accompanied by a strong contingent of armed police, Travancore Devaswom Board officials and devotees.
The procession carrying the Thanka Anki in a motorised chariot modelled on a temple visited Nedumbrayar Thevalasseri Devi Temple, Elathoor Narayanamangalam Temple, Omallur Sree Raktha Kanda Swami temple, Pulimukku Vettoor Sree Mahavishnu temple, Muringamangalam Temple, Ranni Ramapuram temple, Perinadu temple.
Ahead of Mandala Pooja, the ‘Thanka Anki,’ stored at Aranmula Parthasarathi temple, was taken to Sabarimala with a ceremonial procession, a practice that introduced by the Travancore Devasom Board.
The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the prominent temples dedicated to Lord Sree Krishna in Kerala.
The motorised chariot bearing the sanctified ‘Thanka Anki’ is given a rousing reception with pilgrims gathering in huge numbers at the various points of its transit in Omalloor, Konni, Perinadu and Pamba.
The shrine will re-open on December 30 for the ‘Makaravillaku’ festival, which falls on January14, 2022. Later, the temple will close on January 20, 2022 after the conclusion of the festival of this year.
There has been a heavy rush of pilgrims today also to offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa after the arrival of the golden attire.
UNI DS GNK