Thiruvabharanam procession leaves for Sabarimala

Pandalam, (ker), Jan 12 (PTI) Thousands of pilgrims todaywitnessed the procession of ''Thiruvabharanam'' (sacredornaments) to be adorned on Lord Ayyappa of the famous hillshrine at Sabarimala near here.

After the Pandalam Palace managing committee handed overthe ornaments kept in a box to the Special Officer ofTravancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, theywere kept at the Valiakoickal Sastha temple till 12.30 pm forthe devotees to have darshan.

As per legend, the ornaments were given to Lord Ayyappa byhis foster father Raja of Pandalam. A ''royal representative''also escorted the procession to Sabarimala.

The Thiruvabharanam procession started its journey fromhere to Sabarimala after sighting the Krishna Parunthu in thesky. Three boxes containing ornaments, flag and vessels werecarried on head by a 16-member team and taken to Sannidhanam(Sabarimala temple) in a ceremonial procession for theMakaravilakku festival.

The team, led by a 20-member group of devaswom officialsand an equal number of armed policemen, walk through thetraditional path and reach Sannidhanam after three days.

The roayal representative Chithirathirunal P R RaghavavarmaRaja also escorted the procession carrying a sword in apalanquin.

The team started its journey after the eldest member ofroyal family P Ramavarma Raja handed over the ceremonial swordto the royal designate.

The presiding deity at Sabarimala temple will be adornedwith the ornaments prior to ''deeparadhana'' on Makaravilakkuday, marking the end of the two-month long annual festival.

PTI GKNVS01121854

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