SABARIMALA: Lakhs of pilgrims thronged the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa here on Thursday for offering prayer on the occasion of Makaravilakku on Friday.
Sannidhanam, Lower Thirumuttom, Malikappuram, Pandithavalam and Valiyanadapandal were jampacked with pilgrims for the Makavilakku darsan.
Long queue of pilgrims was seen on the trekking path for the darsan of the Lord even during the time of the closure of the Sreekovi at 11.30 pm. The Makaravilakku darsan after adorning the Thiruvabharanam, brought from Pandalam, on the idol of Lord Ayyappa, will be held at 6.30 pm on Friday.
A traditional reception will be accorded to the procession at Saramkuthi at 5.30 pm. A devaswom team led by Sabarimala executive officer Renugopal and administrative officer Somasekharan Nair will receive the Thiruvabharanam procession at Saramkuthi and lead the procession to Sopnam after climbing the Holy Steps.
In front of the golden flagmast, Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan, member Ajay Tharayil, special commissioner K Babu and Devaswom Commissioner Ramaraja Prema Prasad will receive the Thiruvabahaarnam.
Thousands of pilgrims participated in the customary Pampasadya and Pampavilakku ceremony on Thursday. At Valiyananvattom near Pampa, the pilgrims, who camp in the make-shift huts, prepare the feast and offer the food to pilgrims who pass through the Karimala forest route.