As devotees offered their prayers today celebrating  Makaravilakku 2021 is on January 14. On this day Thiruvabhramanam, the sacred jewel is worn to the deities and complete prayers are done including Dipardhana aka worshipping with a holy lamp. As Makara Vilakku and Makarajyoti have been completed with proper COVID precautions, videos and pics are going viral online from the Makarajyoti live streaming that was done. Makarajyoti is a kind of star which is worshipped by devotees every year on Makar Sankranti aka January 14. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa comes as Makarajyoti to bless his devotees. Jyoti Ponnam burns on the Balameda hill, 8 km from the temple. Although the temple has been opened for the religious occasion on December 30.

The Kerala government, in collaboration with the TDB and the Forest Department, lights the lamp at Ponnam Balamedu. This year anuary 19 is the last day for devotees to visit the temple. The temple will be closed on 20 January.  There's a belief that Lord Ayyappan asserts himself as Makara Jyothi to bless his devotees.

Hundreds of devotees offered prayers at the temple of the world-famous Lord Ayyappa on Thursday on the occasion of "Makaravilakku" amidst the stringent protocol of COVID-19. Thousands of devotees used to visit the temple on this festival every year, but this year the number of devotees remained low under the strict guidelines applicable in view of Coronavirus infection. The auspicious event was live-streamed online. 

If you missed it, here are a few pics and videos: 

Lord Aiyyapa

Sabarimala Temple in Kerala

Officials of the 'Travancore Devaswom Board' (TDB) said that as per the government directive only 5000 devotees were allowed to come. A large number of people reached the temple of Lord Ayyappa putting on masks and placing 'Irumudikettu' on the head. The police, health department and other agencies had made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the religious event. Earlier, the State Devaswot Minister Kadampally Surendran had said that the government is ready for all possible help for the development of Sabarimala.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2021 09:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website