Niraputhiri celebrates at Sabarimala with religious fervour
Pathanamthitta, Kerala, Aug 9 (UNI) The annual ''Niraputhari'' was celebrated at Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala today during the auspicious period between 1820 hrs and 1910 hrs with religious fervour and traditional gaiety.
Hundreds of devotees thronged ''Sannidhanam'' to witness the ''Niraputhari'' ritual. The temple was opened at 1630 hrs and Tantri Kantaru Maheswaru performed ''Astha Dravya Maha Ganapathi homam''.
The bundles of newly harvested paddy spikes brought by devotees were placed on the platform around the peepul tree adjacent to the eighteen sacred steps.
After sprinkling holy water, Melsanthi M Sukumaran Nampoothiri and his assistants carried the spikes on their heads in a procession to the accompaniment of percussion instruments and circumambulated the shrine before placing them on the ''Ganapathi Homa Mandapam''.
'Poojas'' on the spikes were offered there and afterwards they were taken into the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Later, the spikes were placed before the Ayyappa idol and a special ''Deeparadhana'' was performed to infuse them with the Lord's energy.
Thereafter, the Tantri hung the bunches of spikes inside the ''Sreekovil'' and at the ''Sopanam''. Then, the paddy spikes were distributed among the devotees as ''Prasadam''.
Travancore Devaswam Board(TDB) President G Raman Nair and board member Punalur Madhu attended the ceremony. The hill-shrine was closed late in the evening amidst chants of ''Harivarasanam''. It will be reopened on August 16 for Poojas in the Malayalam month of ''Chingam''.
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