Makaravilakku today, 5,000 devotees to be allowed as per COVID protocol


M Sudheendra Kumar

Pilgrims are strictly restricted from camping at Panchalimedu, Pulmedu and Parunthupara.

Sabarimala temple | Photo: Reuters|Mathrubhumi

Sabarimala: Thousands of devotees will witness ‘Makara jyothi’ at Ponnambalamedu here on Thursday. Amid the pandemic, the authorities will allow only 5,000 devotees to enter the temple as per COVID protocol.

Only the devotees, who have booked via virtual queue, will be allowed to enter the temple for the auspicious ‘Makaravilakku festival’.

This year, devotees will be allowed to watch ‘Makara Jyothi’ only from the Sannidanam. Pilgrims are strictly restricted from camping at Panchalimedu, Pulmedu and Parunthupara.

Meanwhile, the procession of ‘Thiruvabharanam’ from Pandalam will reach Saramkuthi around Thursday evening. Devaswom officials will give a reception to the procession at Saramkuthi.

Representatives of the Pandalam royal family are not taking part in the procession due to impurity in the palace. Hence, rituals carried out in the presence of a Pandalam royal family representative, will not be held.

Display of Thiruvabharanam and receptions at various places were cancelled due to COVID restrictions.

The procession will reach Sannidanam around 6.30 pm. Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, TDB president N Vasu and TDB higher officials will receive the 'Thiruvabharanam'.

Tantri and the chief priest will adorn the Ayappa idol with the 'Thiruvabharanam'. Deeparadhana will be carried out at 6.30 pm after this ceremony. ‘Makara Jyothi’ will flicker at the Ponnambalamedu around 6.40 pm.

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