Lakhs of pilgrims flood Sabarimala

via P T Mohanan Pillai - published on January 14, 2010

SABARIMALA: Sannidhanam and surrounding areas, including the nearby fringe areas of forest and building tops, were flooded with lakhs of pilgrims on Wednesday to witness Makarasamkrama star on the eastern sky of  Lord Ayyappa temple and Makarajyothi darsan on Thursday .

 The temple surroundings, including North Nada,  Malikappuram, Nadapandal and  Pandithavalam were packed to full capacity with pilgrims  from Tuesday evening, forcing many pilgrims to camp in interior forests on Wednesday.

CROWD CONTROL MEASURES: Police personnel with the help of Central para-military forces began crowd control measures from Tuesday to prevent stampede-like situation at Sannidhanam.

 The security personnel imposed restrictions on the inflow of pilgrims at various points at Nadapandal, Saramkuthi, Marakoottam,  Sabaripeedom, Appachimedu, and Pampa near Pandalam Raja Mandapam and  Arattukadavu at Pampa Manappuram.

 However,  police  resumed blocking pilgrim vehicles at Nilackal causing severe hardships to them as they were devoid of drinking water and food in thick forest. Various locations at Chalakayam, Attathode and Plappally have already been occupied by pilgrims to witness Makarajyothi darsan.

RECEPTION TO THIRUVABHARANAM PROCESSION: The procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam will be accorded a traditional reception on its arrival at Saramkuthi at 5.30 p m by devaswom officials headed by Sabarimala executive officer V S Jayakumar and administrative officer Harindranath.

 On reaching Sopanam,  the procession will be accorded a reception in front of the golden flagmast by Devaswom Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally, Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Devaswom Commissioner K  Jayakumar and Devaswom Commissioner P V Nalinakshan  Nair. In front of the Sreekovil,  Thantri Kandararu Maheswararu and Melsanthi G Vishnu Nampoothiri will receive the Thiruvabharanam.

After adorning the Thiruvabharanam on the idol of Lord Ayyappa, deeparadhana will be conducted.

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