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To mark an auspicious beginning of the Malayalam new year, thousands of devotees throng the popular Sabrimala temple that was opened for the five days monthly pujas and rituals on the first day of Chingam on Wednesday.

The five days long monthly puja started with the chief priest, known as Melsanthi, N Parameshwaran Namboothiri, opening the gate of sanctum sanctorum and lighting the lamp under the aegis of the head priest(Tantri) Kandari Rajeevaru on Tuesday evening.

Carrying forward the ceremony, priests of the Lord Ayappa temple opened the portals of sub-deities and lighted the lamps. After the completion of rituals, devotees were allowed to trek the holy hill, climb the 18 sacred steps to offer prayers to the main deity Lord Ayyappa.

Also read: Covid-19: India recorded 68 new fatalities, 24 only in Kerala

Devotees can visit the shrine after registration in the virtual queue system till 21 August. People can also do on the spot registration at Nilakkal, the base camp for the pilgrims.

Located in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, Sabrimala temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of not only India, but of the world. It is not an easy task to visit the temple, as people have to observe a mandatory fast and wear a bead necklace for over 41 days to be able to visit the temple.

Also read: 'Avoid overcrowded areas': Experts warn against Covid transmission ahead of festival season

Moreover, they have to maintain certain restrictions on food and follow a certain colour code. The fast symbolises one's abstinence from materialism and worldly pleasure. Despite being a lengthy and difficult process, people from across the world follow the ritual to visit 

The visit to Sabarimala temple becomes more auspicious for the people if they do it at the beginning of the new year. Hence, a large number of people visit the temple during Chingam month. This month marks the beginning of the New Malayalam Calender, which is also known as the Kolla Varsham.

Also read: Godrej Appliances launches new TV ad for Kerala consumers around Onam

The month brings huge joy and several occasions for celebration as it is the harvesting season which is preceded by the monsoon. As per the tradition, people wear new clothes, cook delicacies and visit temples to seek blessings of god to utilise the opportunities lying ahead in the new year. The famous Onam festival is also celebrated in the same month.

 

 

 

 

 

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