Amrita TV Covers Makaravilakku Festival On 15th January 2012

Makaravilakku On Amrita TV

Makaravilakku On Amrita TV

When thousands of devotees congregate on the Sabarimala temple  to catch a glimpse of the Makravilakku appearing on the Ponnambalamedu on January 15th , Amrita TV presents a number of programmes to commemorate  the end of this year’s Mandalapooja season.

Pradakshinam at  8.30 am focuses on the Sastha temple at Erumely, a mandatory stop-over in the itinerary of every Ayyappa devotee and delves into the myths and folklore associated with it. The shrine in which Lord Ayyappa is worshipped in the form of an archer is believed to have been built on the spot where he killed the buffalo-headed Mahishi, which was the very purpose of his incarnation. According  to legend, Lord Ayyappa performed a victory dance over the body of the dead demoness and in memory of the slaying, pilgrims perform Pettathullal, a ritualistic dance in which the black dhothi-clad devotees smear themselves  all over with ash and  perform to the beat of the cymbals and drums.

Sannidhanam, 2 special segments scheduled for the 2.30 pm and 3.30pm slots directs the viewers to the most sacred Sastha shrine n the State, the Sabarimala temple and fills us in with brief overviews of the fables of Lord Ayyappa, born of the union of Mohini and Lord Shiva and raised by the Pandalam Raja who discovered him as a foundling in the forests near the Pamba river; of the history of the best known pilgrimage destination of Kerala and the relevance of a temple which endorses communal harmony and  is open to all faiths.

As the hour for the sighting of the divine Makarajyothi approaches, the telecast turns LIVE.From 4.00 pm on the evening, a battery of  cameras positioned at vantage points in and around the holy of holies carry the events directly from the spot, with expert commentary by Vilakudi Rajendran, Secretary of Samskrithi Bhavan: from the Garuda or Brahminy Eagle hovering in majestic escort of the sacred jewels or thiruvabharanam brought from the Pandalam palace, the assemblage of devotees milling around the Pathinettampadi, the appearance of the celestial Makara star in the sky at the exact moment the doors of the sanctum sanctorum are thrown open for Deeparadhana and the answering flame of the Makaravilakku flickering thrice on the eastern horizon, high on the Ponnambalamedu,  to mark the finis of the Makaravilakku Mahotsavam.

Smitha Sivaji

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