Travel Magazine

Makaravillakku at Sabarimala

By Vishnudas
Makaravillakku at Sabarimala Kerala is a land of enriching culture, grand traditions and majestic celebrations,
all of which come together to create a subtle and fulfilling experience in your life, that will keep you happy all the time. The festivals and celebrations of this gorgeous state are popular not only in India, but internationally and people from different corners of the world come here to get a firsthand experience of it. 

As they become a part of the celebrations they are lost in the grandeur and glory of this festival that makes them feel royal and rich. From small regional festivals to Grand National ones and some which are specifically celebrated only in this place, a chance to experience these festivals would be once in a lifetime experience.

Among the many festivals of Kerala, the Makaravillakku at Sabarimala is one important and grand festival that is celebrated with much fanfare and enthusiasm. It is celebrated in the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi, which falls somewhere in the month of January which is also the first month of Makaram, the Malayalese month.

 On this day a special puja is conducted at Sabarimala to commemorate the enshrinement of the idol of Lord Ayyappa or Dharma Sastha in the temple. This puja festival stretches for 41 days and concludes on the day of Makara Sankranthi. Thousands of devotes from all over the state and country gather here to offer their prayer and offerings. They believe that doing so will get them rid of their sins and bring them closer to god.

Lord Ayyappa is considered to be the son of Lord Vishnu and Shiva, when Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini and Shiva was so tempted by the beauty of Mohini that their union resulted in the birth of Lord Ayyappa. Hence the lord is a symbol of unity between Vaishnavites and Saivites and is highly revered by their devotees. 

Since Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity at the Sabarimala temple, hundreds of people come here to offer their devotion on this auspicious day. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in the whole of south India and is located at Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. 

Some of the spectacular feature of Makaravillakku at Sabarimala is the grand procession of the Lord’s ornaments from the Pandalam Palace to the temple. This jewelry consisting of a diamond crown, gold bracelets, and necklaces studded with precious gems, swords, silver arrows, gold images of elephants etc are all kept in a box, which is carried by a priest on his head throughout the procession. 

One of the strange aspects of this procession is that a kite appears suddenly and starts hovering around the box during the procession. Another spectacular feature is the appearance of ‘Makarajyothi” in the north eastern horizon of this temple. 

All this incidents stand testimony to the significance of this festival and how deeply they are rooted in the power of god. That is the reason why, even in this modern age, thousands of people still keep their faith alive in the festival and their deity.

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