Makara Jyothi or Makarajyoti, the celestial lighting at Sabarimala, is an important event which is witnessed by largest number of Sabarima...
Makara Jyothi or Makarajyoti, the celestial lighting at Sabarimala, is an important event which is witnessed by largest number of Sabarimala Temple pilgrims every year. Makara Jyothi is held during Makara Sankaranthi (14th January) which is the first day of the Malayalam month of Makaram (January). Makarajyothi is seen on the eastern side of Ponnambalamedu (Ponnambala Medu). It is believed that Lord Ayyappan asserts himself as Makara Jyothi to bless his devotees. Makara Jyothi indicates the culmination of the Makaravilakku pilgrimage season of Sabarimala pilgrimage. In 2017 - 2018, Makara Jyothi Festival is on 14 January 2018.
During the night after Makara Jyothi, Malikapurathamma, ascending on an elephant, approaches the Pathinettampadi and returns to her residence. This event is the starting of the Makara Vilakku festival which lasts for seven days. After Makara Vilakku is the Guruthi Pooja which is an offering of water mixed with Chunnambu (slaked lime) and turmeric powder to the forest deities.
End of Makaravilakku Season
The closing of the temple takes place after the Athazha Pooja (the night pooja) on the last day. Previously, Kalababhishekam is performed to cool the deity which would have gone through numerous abhishekams. No abhishekam is conducted after this ritual. Then the idol of Lord Ayyappa is covered with Bhasmam or holy ashes and a silk turban is placed on the top of the idol. A stick and a Japamala are kept in his hands, followed by prayers and singing of Harivarasanam – the sacred devotional song of Lord Ayyappa. The oil lamps in front of the idol are put off one by one, as each verse is sung. Just at the end of the last verse, the last set of oil lamps is turned off by the Melsanthi (Mel Santhi) and he exits the Sanctum Sanctorum, locking the doors. This is done to leave the Lord in silence to resume his meditation until the temple re-opens for the next season.
Online Ticket Booking Tips for Sabarimala Pilgrims
Story of Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala Temple