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Kerala set to witness 'Makaravilakku' festival at Sabarimala

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the temple shrine at in Kerala, said it was all set for the annual 'Makaravilakku' festival on Monday.

TDB A Padmakumar Sunday met media after the evaluation meeting of the Board and said all arrangements for the festival have been completed at

"Thiruvabharanam (sacred jewels of the deity) will reach 'pathinettampadi' (holy 18 steps) at 6 pm on January 14. At 6.30 pm, the 'deeparadhana' (worship with lamps) will take place with the Lord adorning the jewels. All facilities for the devotees to witness the 'Makaravilakku' and 'Makarajyothi' are in place," he said.

'Makarajyothi' is a star which is worshipped by pilgrims on Makara Sankranti on January 14 every year. It is the star Sirius located in Canis Major constellation.

It is believed that Lord Ayyappa asserts himself as the Makarajyothi to bless his devotees. The flame appears on the which is around 8 km from the shrine.

The lighting of the lamp by the government with the support of the and forest department, at Ponnamabalamedu, is the continuation of the practice followed by tribal families who lived near the hilltop.

Padmakumar also said the and police at and nearby areas were ready to deal with any untoward incident.

"The temple will close on January 20. Only the members of the royal family of Pandalam are allowed on that day. The last day for other devotees is January 19," he said.

However, compared to last year, Sabarimala has witnessed a lean crowd for the annual festival this time.

Devotees are apprehensive over chances of violent protests in case any more women of menstrual age attempt to trek the hill during the festival.

Owing to the earlier violence witnessed at the hilltop shrine over the issue of entry of women, the police have strengthened security at Sabarimala, Pampa and its base camp at

Meanwhile, the three-member monitoring committee appointed by the High Court, comprising former High Court Justices P R Raman, S of Police A Hemachandran, inspected Nilackal, Pampa and Sannidhanam. They expressed satisfaction over the facilities arranged for the devotees.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 19:55 IST
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