Devotees' chants of "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa" filled the air at the foothill, as the 'Makara Jyoti', regarded as a divine light by the devotees, spread its light across the eastern horizon above the Ponnambalamedu after the puja.
The temple deity was adorned with holy jewels, Thiruvabharanam,' on the 'aarthi' puja occasion. In the last couple of days police were facing tough time at the Sannidhanam, the temple complex, atop the hillock, as it was overcrowded with devotees.
Devotees consider 'Makara samkramam' as an auspicious moment when the sun moves from 'Dhanu rasi' to the 'Makara rasi'. Every year the pilgrimage begins in mid-November and concludes on January 19. Thousands of devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other parts of the country had reached the hillocka and camped atop the hillock in make-shift tents.
As the 'jyoti' and procession of holy jewels of the Lord brought from the Pandalam palace, where the Lord Ayyappa believed to have spent his childhood, devotees' crowd converged at the foothills on the banks of river Pampa.
Strong police security was in place for the smooth conduct of the temple's final pilgrimage. Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi and Malayalam star Jayaram were among those who visited the Lord on the auspicious occasion. It is said that more than 30 million devotees visited the temple during this pilgrimage season.