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Lord Ayyappa Shrine Re-Opens For 'Makaravilakku' Festival

The shrine was re-opened by 'tantri' (head priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru, a release from the temple administration said. The Malikappuram shrine was opened by its 'melshanti' Hariharan Namboodiri.   

Lord Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala
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The famed Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala here was re-opened on Friday for 'Makaravilakku', a festival. The festival marks the beginning of the second leg of the 2-month long annual pilgrimage season. The first leg began on November 17 and ended on December 27 with the  'Mandala puja.' Then, the temple was shut for three days.

It re-opened this evening to the chants of 'sharanam' by devotees. The shrine was re-opened by 'tantri' (head priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru, a release from the temple administration said. The Malikappuram shrine was opened by its 'melshanti' Hariharan Namboodiri.   

Devotees began walking to the shrine from noon, the release said. The pujas during the Makaravilakku commence from 3 AM on Saturday. The Makaravilakku ritual would be held on January 14. Thereafter, the shrine would be closed on January 20, marking the end of the pilgrimage season.

Over 30 lakh devotees reached the shrine on a hill during the 41-day-long season. The TDB (Travancore Devaswom Board), which is in charge of the temple administration, said earlier this week that the shrine got Rs 222.98 crore as revenue during the first 39 days of the season.

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