The famous ‘Kalabhabhishekom,’ a puja ritual, was performed in the name of Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the shrine of Sabarimala in presence of a large number of Ayyappa devotees from the state as well as neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, according to the Hindu. Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan made the offering for Sonia Gandhi while the puja was performed by a group of priests headed by Tantri Kandaru Rajeevaru on Tuesday morning. Devotees come to the temple to witness the Sahasrakalasabhishekom, Kalabhabhishekom and Padipuja rituals.
Prior to Utchapuja, the auspicious Kalabhabhishekom was performed yesterday. During the forenoon, the golden urns carrying the Brahmakalasom and Kalabhom (sandal paste) were taken out to the sanctum sanctorum in a ceremonial procession accompanied by the sacred Marappani and other traditional temple percussion.
The holy water and the sandal paste were poured over the Ayyappa idol by the Tantri prior to the Utchapuja. The Kalabhom which is offered to the deity was later distributed among the devotees as prasadom, the report added. Other special rituals– Padipuja, Pushpabhishekom and Ashtabhishekom– were also performed at the Ayyappa temple. On Wednesday and Friday, Laksharchana would be performed at the temple, said Devaswom Administrative Officer Yatheendranath, as per The Hindu.
After the Athazhapuja on Friday evening, the temple will be closed, marking the culmination of the five-day rituals in the Malayalam month of Karkkidakom. The temple will again be opened on July 29 afternoon for the annual Niraputhari celebrations which is scheduled to be held on July 30. The Putharipuja would be performed at between 5:30 am and 6:15 am on the same day, the report added.