Devotees throng Valiyakoickal Sastha temple to worship Thiruvabharanam
The customary procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam (sacred jewellery of the presiding deity at Sabarimala) set off to the Sabarimala Sannidhanam at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Earlier, the palace town of Pandalam on the banks of the Achencoil went into a festive mood when hundreds of devotees thronged the Srambickal Palace and the adjoining Valiyakoickal Sastha Temple to worship the Thiruvabharanam.
The palace authorities handed over the sacred jewellery to Travancore Devaswom Board officials at 4 a.m. It was kept at the Valiyakoickal Sastha temple till 12.30 p.m. for the devotees to have darshan.
A 25-member team of Ayyappa devotees headed by Guruswami Kulathinal Gangadharan Pillai is carrying the sacred jewellery to Sabarimala.
The procession began soon after the ceremonial sword was handed over to the royal representative, P. Raghava Varma, who is leading the procession. It will proceed to Laha on Sunday morning, after halting at the Puthiyakavu Devi Temple at Ayroor on Saturday night. The procession will halt at Laha on Sunday and will reach the Sabarimala Sannidhanam via Valiyanavattom and Saramkuthi on Monday afternoon.
The presiding deity at the Ayyappa temple will be adorned with the sacred jewellery prior to the deeparadhana at 6.30 p.m. on Monday that coincides with the sighting of the celestial star, ‘Makara’, on the eastern horizon and the customary deeparadhana, Makaravilakku, on the Ponnambalamedu hill on the eastern side facing the Sannidhanam.
The royal-designate will reach the Sannidhanam on January 16 to supervise the rituals to be performed there on the next three days.
Kalabhabhishekam, marking the culmination of the Neyyabhishekom ritual at the Ayyappa temple during the annual
pilgrimage season, will be performed prior to the ‘utcha puja’ on January 18.
The ‘Guruti’ ritual to propitiate the Bhothagana of Lord Ayyappa will be held at Malikappuram after the closing of the temple on January 19 evening.
The Ayyappa Temple will be opened for about 10 minutes on January 20 morning to facilitate holy darshan exclusively for the royal representative. The Thiruvabharanam will be taken back to the Pandalam Palace in a ceremonial procession, later.
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