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Makaravilakku At Sabarimala Festival

Makara Vilakku Pooja can be a seven-day festival conducted annually in the well-known Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala. The festival starts around the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi, the day on which the sun is in summer season solstice (vernal equinox). This is also the initial day in the Malayalese month of Makaram. Makara Vilakku Pooja commemorates the day on which idol of Lord Ayyappa or Dharma Sastha was enshrined within the temple and may be the most critical occasion to be performed at Sabarimala. A large number of devotees collect to participate in the celebrations of Makara Vilakku each and every year. Mandala Pooja festival extends to 41 days prior to Makara Sankranthi.

Significance of Sabarimala Shrine

Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala may be the most sacred pilgrimage centre for the folks of Kerala. Presiding deity of Sabarimala shrine is Lord Ayyappa acknowledged as Dharma Sastha, a symbol of unity amongst Vaishnavites and Saivites. This is so since, Ayappan is stated to be born of union in between Lord Vishnu and Shiva when the former took the avatar of Mohini, the seductress. Shiva succumbed to the charms of Mohini and Ayappa was born out of this union. Therefore Ayappa can also be known as 'Hari Hara Putra' in which 'Hari' is Vishnu, 'Hara' is Shiva and 'Putra' signifies son. No wonder, Sabarimala attracts lakhs of devotees from across the country particularly, southern states of India each and every year.

What makes the shrine so significantly more exciting may be the rugged terrain on which it really is found. The spirit from the a large number of devotees have to be saluted who walk this terrain on foot as no other implies of transport function inside the rough stretches of Western Ghats in which Sabarimala is located. Pilgrims need to make their way by means of the dense forests housing wild animals. For the lovers of adventure, there is a mandatory, 5 km stretch from Pamba towards the shrine which may be passed only by trekking. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala needs a great deal of prior preparations and is not advisable on all occasions. It is open only from November to January.

Ceremonies and Celebrations during Makar Villaku

A single very critical ceremony of Makara Villaku will be the bringing of deity's jewellery, Thirivabharanam from the Pandalam Palace, three days before Makara Sankranthi. The sacred jewelry is kept within a box and is brought within a royal procession. A large number of devotees line up on either side from the route to get a glimpse with the box, which is carried by a priest, or oracle on his head. The oracle moves hysterically oblivious in the presence of a large number of folks. He dances, but the box remains on his head as if it gets glued on his head. Procession halts at several temples en route and reaches Sabaripettam in the evening of Makara Sankranthi. It then moves towards Sannidhanam amidst music, dazzling lights and lot of revelry.

A strange phenomenon happens at this time. A kite seems all of a sudden and starts hovering around the box. The incidence is nicely received by the devotees who get filled with joy.

The jewelery consists of a diamond crown, gold bracelets and necklaces studded with valuable gems, Lord's swords, silver arrows and gold images of elephant, horse and leopard. 1000's gather for that dazzling glimpse of a completely ornamented deity. The other spectacular event may be the physical appearance of 'Makarajyothi' in the north-east horizon on Ponnambala Medu. Chants of 'Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa' reverberate as the devotees turn ecstatic around the strange occurrence.

Makara Vilakku poojas and ceremonies are carried out on the 'Manimandapa' (sacred platform) close to the Devi shrine in which a picture of Sastha riding on a leopard's back is depicted. Right after the pooja, Malikappurath Amma is mounted on an elephant's back and carried within a procession comprising of torchbearers, drummers, buglers etc. to Pathinettampadi. The procession halts for sometime and shouts a call for Vettavili (hunting) and returns right after circumabulating the primary temple. Festivities carry on for seven days and culminate with 'Guruthi'. In this offerings are produced for the Lord. The temple is vacated after Guruthi. No one remains inside as being a tradition.

On the final day of the Makara Vilakku celebrations, that is Makaram 5th morning, a 'Ganapati Homam' is conducted with the temple. Later the Thiruvabharanams are eliminated. After performing some a lot more rituals the procession tends to make its return journey in addition to the Thiruvabharanam.


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