Makaravilakku, an annual festival in Kerala, is celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti which falls in January. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm on a remarkable level at the Sabarimala Temple in Gods Own Country, the South-Indian state of Kerala. The major attraction of the festival is the grand Thiruvabharanam procession which is the procession of the sacred ornaments of the Hindu God of Growth, Shri Ayappan. This procession is then followed by a religious congregation at the Sabarimala Shrine on the hilltop. One must visit this shrine to experience the divine vibe of Shri Ayappan and seek his blessings. It is estimated that approx one million believers come from all over the world to seek blessings on the auspicious day of Makaravilakku in Sabarimala.
One of the most important rituals of the Makarvilakku festival is the lighting of the lamp at Ponnambalamedu which is located 4 kilometres from the Sabarimala Ayappan Temple in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. It is referred as the Hill of the Golden Temple and lighting the lamp commemorates the religious festival of Makaravilakku in Sabarimala.
Makaravilakku marks the end of the Sabarimala pilgrimage which begins in mid-November, or the month of Vruchikam. Sabarimala pilgrimage is also considered as the second most important pilgrimage in India and people from all over the world flock the venue to witness the divine powers of Sri Ayappan.
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