Makaravilakku is a significant annual festival celebrated at the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, India. It takes place on the day of Makara Sankranti, which usually falls on January 14th. The festival marks the culmination of the annual pilgrimage season to the temple.
The highlight of the Makaravilakku festival is the sighting of a celestial light, known as the “Makarajyothi” or “Makaravilakku.” According to popular belief, the light is a divine manifestation of Lord Ayyappa himself. It is said to appear on the horizon of the Ponnambalamedu hill, located near the Sabarimala Temple.
Devotees gather in large numbers at Sabarimala and surrounding areas to witness the Makaravilakku. The event is considered highly auspicious, and devotees believe that witnessing the divine light brings blessings and fulfillment of their prayers. Many people also undertake the pilgrimage specifically to be present for this remarkable phenomenon.
The Makaravilakku festival extends beyond the actual day of Makara Sankranti. It typically lasts for several days, during which various rituals and ceremonies are performed at the Sabarimala Temple. The temple is adorned with lights and decorations, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.
During this time, devotees also participate in special prayers, bhajans (devotional songs), and other religious activities. The temple complex becomes a hub of spiritual energy and devotion. The festival attracts people from different parts of India and even abroad, making it a significant event for Lord Ayyappa’s devotees worldwide.
It’s worth noting that the Makaravilakku festival and the sighting of the Makarajyothi have gained immense popularity and media attention over the years. However, it’s important to approach the festival with a sense of reverence and respect for the religious sentiments associated with it.