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makaravilakku festival kerala



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Kerala, India

Celebrate the Kerala style Makar Sankranti

Celebrate the Kerala style Makar Sankranti

Makaravilakku is one of the most important festivals of Kerala celebrated in the Sabrimala temple. Kerala is said to be God’s Own Country, and like the saying, the people there are purely devoted and follow these holy processions and celebrations religiously.

Sabrimala is a hill shrine in Kerala and has a grand celebration for this festival, thousands of devotees come to witness and be a part of this auspicious occasion and to get a darshan of the rituals followed and performed by the sadhus this day.

Makar Sankranti is the festival of kites, and this is how it is known and celebrated in many parts of the country, India. The state of Kerala, the people there and especially the sadhus and the visitors at the Sabrimala temple celebrate Makar Sankranti as the Makaravilakku festival. This is an important annual festival at the temple there.


The festival of Makar Sankranti is held every year in mid-January. The Makaravilakku festival is held at Makar Sankranti and so it is also held in the month of January.

The rituals and an overview
The rituals and an overview

The devotees at the temple worshiped the Lord Ayyapan at the festival and clad them with their ornaments also known as Thiruvabharanam. The preparations for this grand celebration are started well in advance by the pandits, sadhus and the temple organization. The rituals of purification are also held at the temple.

There are a number of rituals performed at the temple, and some of them are;

  • Prasadasudhi which means the distribution of the holy prasad(offering) of some food or something sweet from the temple to the devotees after the pooja.
  • Deeparadhana, which means the sadhus and the higher temple authorities light the Diya or camphor to commence the celebration of the holy festival.

These are some of the rituals that take place at the beginning of the festival at the Sabrimala temple.

There is also lighting of the lamp by the Kerala government. The actual meaning of Makaravilakku is the light or the flame which appears thrice on the Ponnambalamedu hill which is approximately 4 km away from the Sabrimala temple. There are properly arranged facilities for the devotees and the visitors to witness the “Makaravilakku” and “Makarajyothi” in the temple. The devotees occupy various different spots around the Sabarimala temple to witness the ceremony and to have a glance of the Makaravilakku.

Sabrimala is a popular pilgrim in India, and it not only attracts devotees from Kerala but all over India and also foreigners from all across the world wanting to explore the Indian culture and traditions and the divine rituals. This festival reflects the ever glowing rich culture and divine traditions. One must definitely visit get the pleasure to witness all of this.

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