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`Thanka anki' procession reaches the Sannidhanam

By Our Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA, DEC. 25. The procession carrying the `Thanka anki' offered to the Ayyappa Temple by the late Chithira Thirunal Balaramavarma of the royal dynasty of erstwhile Travancore, was accorded a rousing reception at the Sannidhanam today.

The motorised chariot carrying the `anki' reached the Pampa around 12 noon. It was taken to the Saramkuthi by Ayyappa Seva Sanghom volunteers, later.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) officials, led by the Sabarimala Executive Officer, V.S. Rajagopalan Nair, received the `anki' at Saramkuthi on the trekking path around 4 p.m. It was then taken in a procession to the accompaniment of temple orchestra to the Sannidhanam.

The `anki' was received by the TDB president, G. Raman Nair, and member Punalur Madhu at the Upper Thirumuttom around 5.30 pm. The TDB authorities handed over the `anki' to Tantri Kantaru Mohanaru, who, along with Melsanthi V. Muraleedharan Namboodiri, took it to the sanctum sanctorum.

The Ayyappa idol was adorned with the `anki' prior to the `deeparadhana' at 6.30 p.m.

The Ayyappa temple has been witnessing heavy rush for the past 24 hours.

The queue for holy darshan extended beyond Marakkoottom.

The police blocked pilgrims at the Lower Thirumuttom for about an hour because of the reception given to the `thanka anki' procession in front of the eighteen holy steps.

Mandala pooja

Mandala pooja will be performed at the temple between 12.10 p.m. and 12.45 p.m. tomorrow.

`Neyyabhishekom' will be performed up to 11a.m. tomorrow in view of the special rituals to be performed in connection with the Mandala pooja. The Tantri will perform a `Kalabhabhishekom' prior to the Mandala pooja.

The temple will be closed after Athazha pooja at 10.30 p.m. It will reopen only on January 1 afternoon for the Makaravilakku festival that begins on January 2, 2005.

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