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With COVID Guidelines In Place, Thousands Witness Makarajyoti At Sabarimala Temple | See Pics
In view of the pandemic, arrangements were made by the state government and administration to manage the crowd and enforce COVID-19 norms.
Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the rising coronavirus cases in Kerala, thousands of Ayyappa devotees from across the country converged to witness the “Makarajyoti”, a celestial star called Makara, and the “Makaravilakku”, the symbolic “deeparadhana” at performed Ponnambalamedu, on the occasion of Makarasankranti on Friday, at Sabarimala. In view of the pandemic, arrangements were made by the state government and administration to manage the crowd and enforce COVID-19 norms.
As per Devaswom officials, around 70,000 devotees were present on the occasion. Facilities to view the ‘Makarajyoti’ were arranged at Parunthumpara and Panchalimedu. The Revenue Department had set up barricades while the police and health officials were deployed at these spots during the event, reported Onmanorama.
The evening rituals at the “sannidhanam” had a formal start with the arrival of the “thiruvabharanam” – the holy ornaments of the deity – around 6:30 pm. The chief priest of the templealong with tantri received the ornaments and adorned the deity.
The ritual of ‘Deeparadhana’ took place between 6.30-6.45 pm, following which the ‘Makarajyoti’ appeared on the Ponnambalamedu hill situated 8 km away – facing the temple.
Preparations in View of COVID-19
In view of COVID-19 situation in the state, authorities had banned the entry of devotees to Pullumedu, a grassland from where the light could be viewed. Pilgrims were also banned from setting up ‘parnasalas’ (huts). However, devotees were seen entering Sannidhanam, Pamba and other areas.
What is Makaravilakku
Makaravilakku is the annual festival held on Makarasankranti in Kerala, at Sabarimala. The festival includes the Thiruvabharanam (sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappan) procession and a congregation at Sabarimala