The 10-Day Annual Festival At Sabarimala

The 10-day annual festival at the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala began with the ceremonial ‘kodiyettu’ (flag hoisting) on Tuesday.
The temple chief priest (Tantri), Kandararu Maheswararu, assisted by the head priest (Melsanthi), N. Balamurali, performed the rituals preparatory to the kodiyettu ceremony in the morning.
The ceremonial flag was taken out in a customary procession around the sanctum sanctorum, with the accompaniments of a caparisoned elephant, the sacred ‘marappani’ and other traditional temple percussion, prior to the ‘kodiyettu’.
The tantri hoisted the ceremonialflag, after performing the ‘kodimara-puja’ amidst loud chants of ‘Ayyappa Saranam’ mantra.
S. Jagadeesh, Special Commissioner appointed by Kerala High Court; N. Vasu, Devaswom Commissioner, and M. Sathishkumar, Sabarimala Executive Officer, were among those who have attended the kodiyettu ceremony.
Utsavabali darshan
According to Mr Sathishkumar, the auspicious ‘utsavabali’ darshan as part of the annual festival will be held between 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm on all days from March 28 to April 4. Sreebhoothabali is another important ritual held in connection with the annual festival on all these days.
The ritualistic ‘pallivetta’ will be held at Saramkuthi on the traditional trekking path on April 4 evening.
Aratt ceremony
The ceremonial ‘Aratt’ marking the grand finale of the annual temple festival will be held at the specially prepared ‘Aratt kadavu’ in river Pampa on the foothills of Pampa on April 5 forenoon.
The Tantri will perform the ‘Aratt puja’ and ‘Utcha puja’ at the Arattkadavu and the ‘Aratt’ processionwill return to the Sannidhanam, later around 10 pm. The annual festival will come to a close with the Tantri bringing down the ceremonial flag on the temple mast.
The Ayyappa shrine will be closedafter the ‘Athazhapuja’, later.


۩ Ayyappa DevoteeZ ۩

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