Lakhs witness ‘celestial light’ at Sabarimala

Sabarimala (Kerala), Jan 15 (IANS) The most awaited event in the two-month-long Sabarimala pilgrimage was witnessed on Friday evening when the “celestial” light appeared thrice on the horizon, leaving lakhs of pilgrims excitedly chanting “Swamiyae Ayyapa”.

Every inch of space at the famed temple town and also on the neighbouring hills was filled with pilgrims who were waiting since early evening, to witness the divine experience, when the light comes up on the horizon, thrice in a space of few minutes.

Ever since the stampede that took place this day five years back and left 102 pilgrims dead, the Kerala Police has come out with a scientific method of crowd control and had increased the security in the temple town, especially, on this day.

In local parlance, this event is called as ‘Makare Villeku’ and according to the belief, the sighting of the light is auspicious and over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of pilgrims to witness it.

Even though, after the tragic stampede, the temple authorities have declared that this celestial light is manmade, the pilgrim rush has only gone up.

The Sabarimala temple is situated on the Western Ghat ranges, four kilometres uphill from Pamba river in Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala.

The temple is accessible only on foot from Pamba.

In the next few days, the nearly two month long Sabarimala festival will come to a close and now the temple will be open a few days during the beginning of every Malayalam calendar month.

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