Sabarimala Makarajyothi on Jan. 15

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This season’s ‘Makarajyothi’ will be observed at the Lord Ayyappa temple on January 15, a day later than the usual time of the festival being celebrated every year, even as tight security measures are being made at locations near the hill shrine from where the celestial star can be sighted.

A total of 102 devotees were killed and over 55 injured in a stampede at Pulmedu last year when pilgrims converged in huge numbers began to disperse after the auspicious sighting of the ‘jyothi.’

“We are identifying similar ‘danger’ areas like Parunthenpara and setting up safety measures like erecting steel barricades of sufficient strength. In Pulmedu, barricades will be set up at southern end of the Uppupara hillock demarcating the area up to which pilgrims can go to view “jyothi,” additional chief secretary Mr K. Jayakumar said, adding he would personally visit the tragedy site to oversee safety measures.

The government approved 30 safety suggestions of Justice Hariharan commission inquiring into the tragedy. Accordingly, other than stalls put up by the Eco Development Committee, no shops will be allowed on one side of the route.

Further, sufficient lightings using the ASKA electric light, running on battery power, are being provided in these areas and additional police personnel deployed there.

“We have rolled out draft security manual which is being distributed to various department personnel like police, fire force and forest,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Makara Jyoti festival this season falls on January 15. “Though Samkranti falls on both 14 and 15, but the later day has the minimum six nazhika,” former chief priest Sasi Nampoothiri said.

Makara Jyothi is a celestial star which is worshiped as a part of ritual in Sabarimala Temple in the day of Makara Samkranti (winter solstice). The sight is considered auspicious by Hindus.

Schedule of Thiruvaabharanam (sacred jewels) procession

Jan. 13:
Around 1 pm, the procession starts from Pandalam Valiyakoickal Sree Dharma Sasta Temple after sighting of Sreekishna Parunthu. Covers Aranmula Temple and halts at Airoor Puthiyakavu.

Jan. 14:
Covers Vadasserikara, Perunadu Ayyappa temple and halts at Laha.

Jan. 15:
Proceeds via Plappally, Nilackal, Pampa, and Neelimala before reaching Sannidhanam by evening.

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