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Sabarimala temple festival concludes

By Our Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA Nov. 29. Thousands of devotees today thronged the river banks of Pampa on the foothills of Sabarimala to witness the auspicious `arat' ceremony in connection with the 10-day annual festival at the Ayyappa Temple.

The presiding deity was invoked into a small Ayyappa idol for the `arat' held at the specially-prepared `arat kadavu' in front of the Pampa Ganpathi Temple.

The `arat' procession set off from the Sannidhanam to Pampa at 9 a.m. to the accompaniment of a caparisoned elephant and traditional temple orchestra. The Tantri, Kantaru Rajeevaru, assisted by the Melsanthi, Gosala Vishnu Vasudevan, performed the `arat' pooja and the `utcha pooja'. The Ayyappa idol was kept at the Ganapathi Temple precincts for the pilgrims to have darshan and to offer the customary `nirapara' to the presiding deity till 3 p.m. The deity was taken back to the Sannidhanam in a procession, later.

The festival came to a close with the Tantri bringing down the ceremonial flag on the holy mast as soon.

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