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Monday, 19 January 2015

Makara Jyothi 2016 – Sabarimala Makaravilakku Festival on 15 January 2016

Makara Jyoti (Light of Capricorn) – Sabarimala Makaravilakku Festival on 15th January 2016 – Millions of pilgrims are expected to witness the famous Sabarimala Makaravilakku at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala, India.
Makaravilaku – Makara Jyothi marks the end of the Sabarimala Mandala Pooja pilgrimage season. According to the traditional Malayalam panchangam and Vedic astrology, the Makaravilakku pooja will take place at 6:44 PM in the evening.
Sabarimala pilgrims will be able to witness the Makarajyothi Anduthram star at the Ponnambalamedu and the Thiruvabharanam (traditional antique gold ornaments brought from the Pandalam Palace) adorned Lord Ayyappa Swamy.

Sabarimala Makarasamkramam (Makara Samkramam) is the time when Lord Surya (the Sun God) moves from Dhanu Rasi to Makaram Rasi. Makarasamkrama Pooja is at Sabarimala temple during this time. Pilgrims will be allowed to climb the Pathinettampadi (the holy 18 steps) after Ucha Pooja. Devotees can witness the most important evening Deeparadhana and Makara Jyothi Darshan. The most interesting feature of deeparadhana is that the Brahminy kite (eagle) is hovers over the Sabarimala Temple indicating to start the auspicious evening deeparadhana on Makaravilakku day. After the deeparadhana, the Makarajyothi star will appear on the sky. Makara Jyothi is worshiped as a part of ritual in Sabarimala Temple on Makara Sankranti on 14 January every year. Devout Hindus believe that the jyothi is a celestial phenomenon and its sighting is auspicious and brings good luck and blessings.

It is said that Lord Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana met Sabari, an urban devotee, at Sabarimala. Sabari offered the Lord fruits after tasting them. But the Lord accepted them gladly and whole-heartedly. The Lord then turned and saw a divine person doing tapas. He asked Sabari who it was. Sabari said it was Sasta. Rama walked towards Sasta and the latter stood up to welcome the Prince of Ayodhya. The anniversary of this incident is celebrated on Makara Vilakku day. It is believed that on Makara Vilakku day, Lord Dharmasasta stops his tapas to bless his devotees.

Another popular mythical belief is that the Makara Vilakku is lit there in commemoration of the aarathi performed by Dev rishis and Devas at the time of revelation of His Divine form (Roopa) by Manikantan (an incarnation of Sasta). This event marks the culmination of the long and arduous pilgrimage to Sabarimala shrine. The light disappears in the evening after the Thiruvaabharanam (divine ornaments) are brought into the sanctum sanctorum and are placed on the Lord. The most significant rituals of worship are performed at the day of Makara Sankaranthi.

Sabarimala 2015 – 2016 Opening and Closing dates and Temple Timings

The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala is open for darshan only during certain specific periods in a year. Below are the dates on which the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple will remain open during 2015 – 2016.
The temple is open for monthly pujas for five days from the first of Malayalam month on all months in year. Other days when the temple is open are for Sabarimala Shrine festival, Vishu, Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary puja, Onam puja, Sri Chitira Attam Thirunnal, two months during the Mandalam Pooja season (November – December) and finally during the Makaravilakku Puja (January) season.

Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Calendar 2015 – 2016

Sabariamala 2015

January 2015 at Sabarimala
January 14, 2015 – Makaravilakku Puja
Temple open on all days till January 20, 2015
Temple closes at night on January 20, 2015.

February 2015 at Sabarimala

February 12, 2015 to February 17, 2015 – Kumbha Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
March 2015 at Sabarimala
March 14, 2015 to March 19, 2015 – Meena Masa Puja Monthly Puja
 March 24, 2015 to April 3, 2015 - Sabarimala Annual Temple Festival.
April 2015 at Sabarimala
April 3, 2015 - Painguni Festival and Special Arattu Puja is on
April 10, 2015 – April 19, 2015 – Vishu and Medam month Puja and Darshan

April 15, 2015 – Vishu Kani Darshan at the Temple
April 19, 2015 - Vishu Festival Ends
May 2015 at Sabarimala
May 14, 2015 to May 19, 2015 – Edava Masa Puja - Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
 May 28 – Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary puja
May 29 – Ayyappa Idol installation anniversary day
June 2015 at Sabarimala
June 15, 2015 to June 20, 2015 – Mithuna Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
July 2015 at Sabarimala
July 16, 2015 to July 21, 2015 – Karkidaka Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
There is also a Niraputtari in this month and the date is decided by the Travancore Royal Family.
August 2015 at Sabarimala
August 16, 2015 to August 21, 2015 – Chinga Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.
August 26 to August 30 - Onam Puja.
 – Thiru Onam Puja

September 2015 at Sabarimala
September 16, 2015 to September 21, 2015 – Kanni Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.

October 2015 at Sabarimala
October 17, 2015 to October 22, 2015 – Thulam Masa Puja – Monthly Puja – The temple remains open for five days during the period.

November 2015 at Sabarimala
November 10 – Sri Chitira Attam Thirunnal
November 17, 2015 – Mandala Kalam Starts – Shrine open for 41 days
Temple open on all days from November 16 evening..

December 2015 at Sabarimala
Temple open on all days till the night of December 27, 2015 on all days.
December 27, 2015 – Sabarimala Mandala Puja - Temple closes in the evening
December 30, 2015 – Temple opens for Makaravilakku.

Sabariamala 2016

January 2016 at Sabarimala
January 15, 2016 – Makaravilakku Puja
Temple open on all days till January 20, 2016
Temple closes at night on January 20, 2016.
Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Timings
On the above days the temple usually opens at 0400hrs and closes at 1300 hrs and then opens again at 1600 hrs and closes at 2300 hrs.
Neyyabhishekam takes place from 0430 hrs to 1130 hrs.
During the peak seasons the timings might altered to accommodate the large number of devotees.
Daily Puja Timings

The Usual Puja Timings are as follows when the temple is open:
Temple opens at 0300 hrs (3: 00 AM)
Nirmalya Darshan is at 0305 hrs
Mahaganapati homam is at 0315 hrs to 1145 hrs
Neyabhishekam from is at 0315 hrs to 1145 hrs
Usha Puja (Morning puja) is at 07:30 hrs
Uccha Puja (Afternoon Puja) is at 12:30 hrs
The Temple closes afternoon at 13:00 hrs (01:00 PM)

Evening Puja
In the evening Temple opens at 15:00 hrs (3: 00 PM)
Deeparadhana (Evening puja) is at 18:30 hrs
Pushpa Abhishekam is at 19:00 hrs
Athazha Puja is at 23:00 hrs
Harivarasanam – at 23:30 hrs
The Temple closes for the day at 23:45 hrs

Lakhs of Sabarimala pilgrims witness 'celestial light'

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 15: Lakhs of pilgrims in Sabarimala Wednesday witnessed the "celestial light" and went delirious with joy as shouts of Swamiye Ayyapa reverberated all round this temple town. If there is one single event for which Sabarimala pilgrims wait patiently for hours together it is this light that appears thrice on the horizon and is popularly called "Makare Villeku".

According to believers, sighting of the "celestial light" is auspicious and over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of pilgrims to witness it. 
Anxious pilgrims were waiting for this phenomenon at various points in the temple town that extends from the foothills and upwards to the temple located on top of a hill. Besides these areas, every inch of space in and around the neighbouring hills was also occupied. 
Following a stampede that killed 102 people four years ago, the Kerala government made elaborate arrangements by deploying close to 10,000 policemen. "We have been working to ensure maximum safety for the lakhs of pilgrims. Every aspect of security was taken care of and vantage positions were under the control of senior police officials," said Devasoms Minister V.S. Sivakumar.

KSRTC nets record Sabarimala collection

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) depot at Pampa has set a record by operating 29,788 Pampa-Nilackal services during the Mandalam-Makarvilakku pilgrim season. Revenue collection on this count was Rs.7.64 crore (Rs. 7,64,54,623).

KSRTC special officer at Pampa V.M. Manoj said the corporation had earned Rs.5.47 crore from the Pampa-Nilackal chain service during the previous pilgrim season. He said till Saturday the KSRTC had operated 20,286 services to Pampa during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season from its depots across the State. The highest number of services to Pampa was from the Chengannur railway station. He said the corporation operated 14 low-floor air-conditioned buses and four Volvo buses for its Pampa special service. The low-floor buses ran services to Chengannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam. Volvo buses were used for services to Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. Mr. Manoj said the corporation had been operating inter-State services to Kambom, Theni, Palani, Thenkasi, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Bengaluru from Pampa.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

600-kg brass door at Sabarimala temple

Sabarimala: The door to be installed on the 18th step of the famed Sabarimala temple is getting ready. A total of 600 kg of brass was used for making the door.

Panthalam Nediyakala Thekkethil Subramanyan, who does works at the Sabarimala for the last 15 years, has completed the door within 2 weeks, using special brass from Mumbai.

The door is being sponsored by SM Enterprises of Bangalore and costs Rs 4.75 lakh. After strengthening the door with steel pipes, the grill was fixed with brass. Subramanyam said work on the door would be completed when the temple closes after Makaravilakku.