Rush of pilgrims to Sabarimala continues even after 'Makaravilakku' ritual

According to temple authorities, from Friday midnight to Saturday midnight around 46,000 devotees had reached Sannidhanam from Pampa.
13,96,457 people booked for darshan through virtual queue and on Makaravilakku day alone there were 89,939 bookings
13,96,457 people booked for darshan through virtual queue and on Makaravilakku day alone there were 89,939 bookings

PATHANAMTHITTA: There has been an uninterrupted stream of devotees walking to the hill top shrine at Sabarimala here even after the auspicious 'Makaravilakku' ritual got over, as more and more pilgrims are coming to see Lord Ayyappa clad in the holy jewels 'Thiruvabharanam'.

According to temple authorities, from Friday midnight to Saturday midnight around 46,000 devotees had reached Sannidhanam from Pampa.

On January 14, as devotees were allowed to enter Sannidhanam only till noon, those who could not climb the hill during that period, started their trek on Saturday night and Sunday morning which caused the rush of devotees at the shrine even after the 'Makaravilakku' ritual got over, the authorities said.

A release issued by the temple on Sunday said that from January 1, 13,96,457 people booked for darshan through virtual queue and on Makaravilakku day alone there were 89,939 bookings.

There were also a large number of devotees who had arrived days before and waited near the shrine for Makarajyothi darshan.

As a result, there was a huge rush of devotees descending the hill after the Makarajyothi darshan and the subsequent Makarasamkrama puja, the release said.

Special arrangements were made at Sannidhanam to control the rush, it said.

Majority of the devotees who descended the hill were those from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, it also said.

It was only after Makaravilakku that the journey from Pampa to Sannidhanam was again allowed.

The temple authorities, in the release, said the government and the Travancore Devaswom Board was expecting a huge rush of devotees in the post-COVID scenario and had made arrangements accordingly. The temple would be closed on January 20.

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