PATHANAMTHITTA : The famous Makaravilakku festival of the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple will be held on Monday. With the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) expecting nearly two lakh pilgrims during the day, 10 points have been arranged at Sabarimala to view the Makara Jyothi. Aiming to ensure proper crowd management at Sannidhanam and surrounding areas, no pilgrim will be allowed to trek from Pampa to the hill shrine after 11.30am on Monday. An additional batch of 1,000 police personnel, including four superintendents and 19 deputy superintendents, have been posted at strategic points like Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal and Pandithavalam.
TDB president P S Prasanth said the Tamil Nadu government has sent 80 lakh biscuits for the pilgrims, while the board has ensured the supply of medicated water round the clock.
The temple will open at 2.15am. The neyyabhishekam and makarasamkrama pooja will be held at 2.46am. The neyyabhishekam will be performed using ghee and coconut brought from the Travancore Palace. In the evening, the temple will open at 5pm. A team of devaswom board members will then move to Saramkuthi to receive the ‘Thiruvabharanam’ (sacred jewellery) procession at 5.15pm.
A team led by Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan will receive the ‘Thiruvabharanam’ procession near the flag mast of the temple. Thereafter, the presiding deity’s idol will be adorned with the sacred ornaments and the ‘deeparadhana’ performed. The famed Makaravilakku and Makara Jyothi darshan of the pilgrimage season will follow. On the day, the virtual queue limit will be 50,000.
From January 17 to 20, the virtual queue limit will be 70,000. Spot booking will be available from January 16. The pilgrims can have darshan in the temple till January 20. On January 21, darshan will be allowed only for the representative of the palace and the temple will be closed in the morning.
To ensure the smooth return of the pilgrims from Sannidhanam after the Makara Jyothi darshan, an exit plan has already been prepared. All arrangements including proper lighting at the Makara Jyothi viewpoints have been completed. From Sunday, The devaswom board is also providing free food three times a day to the pilgrims staying at Sannidhanam and Pandithavalam to view Makara Jyothi.
There are four exit routes for the pilgrims returning to the Pampa base camp after watching the sacred light. According to the plan, pilgrims should descend towards the Malikappuram temple through the path to the right of Pandithavalam junction and proceed to the Jeep Road by crossing the Bailey bridge via the path behind the Annadana Mandapam.
The second route takes a left turn from Pandithavalam junction via the path below the Darshana complex and Koprakkalam to reach KSEB Junction and joins the Jeep Road.
The third route is from the Malikappuram side via the main Nadapandal and flyover to arrive at the KSEB junction before proceeding to the Jeep Road. The pilgrims staying near the northern entrance to the temple should travel via the Devaswom Mess area and Bhasmakulam to reach the Bailey Bridge and then move towards the Jeep Road.
Harivarasanam Award for singer Veeramani Dasan
Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan will present this year’s ‘Harivarasanam’ Award to well-known Tamil singer P K Veeramani Dasan on Monday. The award, comprising a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, a citation and a plaque, will be presented to Veeramani at a function to be held at 9am at Sannidhanam Auditorium in Sabarimala. He has sung over 6,000 devotional songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit languages.