The ‘arattu’ ceremony, one of prime concluding rituals of the annual festival at the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple was held amid religious fervour and gaiety, at the ‘arattukadavu’ on the Pampa near the Lord Ganapathi temple here on Sunday.
Witnessed by thousands of devotees, Thantri Kandararu Maheswararu led the ceremony which began at 12.30 pm, in the presence of Melsanthi P N Narayanan Nampoothiri. After the ‘arattu’ ceremony, the Thantri distributed the ‘prasadam’ to the people present at the venue.
Travancore Devaswom Board president M P Govindan Nair, TDB member P K Kumaran, Devaswom commissioner P Venugopal, Akhila Bharata Ayyappa Seva Sangham president Thennala Balakrishna Pillai and Sabarimala Devaswom executive officer Mohandas were among those present on the occasion.
Following the ‘arattu’ ceremony, the Sreebali idol of Lord Ayyappa was taken in a procession to the Pampa Lord Ganapathi temple and kept in the mandapam for “para” offering and darsan.
At 4 pm, the ‘arattu’ procession, carrying the ‘thidambu’ of Lord Ayyappa on caparisoned elephant, left Pampa and reached Sannidhnam around 7 pm.
After the routine ceremonies, the annual festival concluded with ‘kodiyirakku’ and ‘valiyakanikka’ rituals.
‘Vishukkani’ on Tuesday
The annual ‘Vishukkani’ darsan for the devotees will be held at 4 am on April 15. After opening the ‘sreekovil’ of the temple for darsan, Thantri Maheswararu will distribute ‘Vishukaineettom’ (coins) to the devotees in front of the ‘sreekovil’.