Amrita TV Airs Daily Sabarimala Special Feature Harivarasanam
To coincide with the beginning of the annual pilgrimage season at Sabarimala, Amrita TV launches Harivarasanam, a travelogue along a devotional route that links the sacred sites related to the Dharma Sastha.
The 54 episodes of the Mandalakalam exclusive series will be telecast in 2 segments, from November 17 to December 26 and later from January 1-15 at 5.30 pm, to tally with the Mandalapooja Mahotsavam and the Makaravilakku festival, finally concluding with the LIVE telecast of the Makarajyothi sighting.
The journey which starts from Pandalam, pauses at spots that find a place in the legends of Lord Ayappa: the holy town of Pandalam, where centuries ago the King of Pandalam brought up the Lord as his foster son Manikantan; Chertala that acquired glory as the locality in which Ayappan, the crown prince mastered the martial art of Kalarippayattu; Erumeli the portal to Sabarimala famed for its masjid dedicated to Vavar, the muslim devotee of Lord Ayappa; the 3 important temples consecrated to him-Kulathupuzha where he is worshipped as a balaka, Aryankavu in which he is deified as a young warrior and in the form of Grahasta along with his consorts Poorna and Pushkala in Achankoil temple.
Harivarasanam also brings out the difference in the traditions followed by the faithful in different parts of Kerala during Mandalakalam, shares the beatific experience of the Melshantis or high priests at Sabarimala and Malikapurathamma shrines; introduces us to ‘seasoned’ celebrity devotees who have made the holy trek for years without fail such as Suresh Gopi, Mukesh, Jayaram etc; acquaints us with the other main Sastha temples in Kerala; explains the scientific basis of the rigid spiritual discipline and severe austerities followed by the pilgrims- the reasons behind the observance of the 41 day fast; why the pilgrims are clad in black , the significance of the erumudi kettu etc.
Giving an overall view of the second largest pilgrimage of the world, from the well-worn traditional routes, the divine destinations along the century old religious journey , to the rituals to be observed by the pious on the way to the spiritual paradise, Harivarasanam will be an enlightening experience, both for the kanni ayappan and the guruswamy alike.