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Sabarimala Temple Pilgrim Turnout New Year Day

Sabarimala temple opened for Makaravilakku festival, with influx of pilgrims. After darshan, shrine remains open till January 20.

The Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple, which opened for the Makaravilakku festival, saw a surge in pilgrims on New Year's Day. The shrine opened with the idol receiving an anointment of ghee from 18,018 coconuts after nirmalyam and abhishekam rituals. Led by Chief Priest P N Mahesh Namboothiri, the ghee anointing was performed under the supervision of the head priest, Kandararu Mahesh Mohanararu. The ghee anointing was a contribution from four devotees from Bengaluru and 20,000 coconuts filled with ghee were prepared for the Neyyabhishekam and transported to the hill shrine on a tractor. Elaborate security arrangements were made at the temple due to the rush of pilgrims. The temple will remain open until January 20 for pilgrims to offer prayers after the Makaravilakku darshan. Various rituals will be held ahead of the Makaravilakku festival on January 15, including the reception of the sacred ornaments and the adorning of the Lord Ayyappa idol with jewels.

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