Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thousands worship at Sabarimala temple

Sabarimala: Thousands of devotees worshipped at the hill shrine here during the 'makara vilakku' this evening, marking the finale of two-month-long pilgrimage to the famous Lord Ayyappa temple. In an atmosphere surcharged with devotion, the pilgrims chanted the 'sarana mantram' as the 'deeparadharana' (aarti) was performed in the temple with the idol of the presiding deity adorned with glittering 'thiruvabharanam' (holy ornaments). Keeping with tradition, a flame was lit at Ponnambalamedu hills across the shrine on the occasion, which devotees worshipped with folded hands. 

The holy jewels were brought to the sanctum sanctorum in a ceremonial procession moments before the 'aarti'. The 'sannidhanam' (temple complex) atop the hillock and the base camp Pampa have been overflowing with devotees in the last few days. The annual pilgrimage season, which began in mid- November, will conclude on January 20. Thousands of pilgrims, including a large number from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, had reached and camped atop the hill in make-shift tents and shacks. Security and crowd management arrangements have been stepped up this season in view of the stampede at Pulmedu last year in which 102 devotees returning home after witnessing the Makaravilakku died. State Deveswom Minister V S Sivakumar, Travancore Devaswom Board president M Rajagopalan Nair and Additional Chief Secretary K Jayakumar were present at the shrine on the occasion. 

Drop in pilgrim turn out
There was a marked decline felt in the pilgrim turn out for this year’s Makaravilakku festival owing to various reasons that include the Mullapperiyar imbroglio and the painful memories of last year’s stampede tragedy at Pulmedu.
The State Government’s failure to provide transport facility for the pilgrims to Pulmedu has literally stopped the flow of pilgrims to this hitherto popular Makarajyoti viewing point in the forests, this year.
According to reports received here at 8 pm, hardly a 1,000 devotees were present at Pulmedu to worship the Jyoti.
Still the Sannidhanam and surrounding forest areas witnessed heavy rush of devotees for the Makaravilakku festival on Sunday. This time, the number of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka appeared to have been higher than those from Tamil Nadu reportedly owing to the rumours spreading there in connection with the Mullapperiyar agitation.
Supreme Court Judge, Arijit Pasayath; Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi; Malayalam-Tamil actor, Jayaram and K. Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary, were among those attended the annual festival.

1 comment:

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