Niraputhari is a grand temple festival celebrated in Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. In 2015, Niraputhari festival date is July 22 (1190 Karkkidakom 06). Thousands of devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala will have darshan of Lord Ayyappa on this festive day.
Sreekovil of Sabarimala will be opened at 5.00 PM on July 21 and closed at 10 PM on July 22. Niraputhari ceremony will be held between 5.30 AM and 6.15 AM on July 22, 2015. (This information is provided by ‘Sri Gopala Krishnan’, a reader of Hindupad.com. Thanks to him.)
As part of the ceremony, the procession carrying the paddy spikes brought from various places, including those from the Kowdiar Palace of the Travancore royal family, led by Thantri and Melsanthi is taken out from the Sopanam.
After circumambulating the sreekovil, the paddy spikes are taken to sreekovil for poojas. The paddy spikes are distributed by Thantri to the devotees who gathered in front of the sreekovil for witnessing the rituals. For Lord Ayyappa, the “Nivedyam” offered inside the sreekovil is prepared from the newly-harvested paddy.
As part of the festival, the procession carrying paddy spikes from Lower Thirumuttam would be taken out at 5 a.m. On reaching in front of the golden flagmast, thantri Brahmasree Rajeevararu and melsanthi Krishnadas Nampoothiri would lead the procession to the sreekovil after circumambulating the sreekovil. The thantri would perform poojas on the paddy spikes and distribute the paddy spikes to the devotees gathered to witness the ceremony.
The uniqueness of the Niraputhari festival is that the offering of the ‘Nivedyam’ to Lord Ayyappa during the usha pooja would be the rice made out of the paddy brought for the ritual.
Laksharchana, sahasrakalasam and kalabhabhishekam would be the special rituals to be held as part of the Niraputhari festival.
Udaysthamana pooja, pushpabhishekam and padi pooja would be the other poojas to be conducted.
The temple would be closed on Wednesday. The temple would be re-opened for the five-day monthly poojas for the first Malayalam month of Chingam on August 16 evening.