Millions witness celestial Makara Jyothi light at Sabarimala (Lead)

January 14th, 2010 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Sabarimala (Pathanamthitta), Jan 14 (IANS) Millions of devotees waiting anxiously for hours to witness the celestial light, shouted in joy and thanksgiving when the Makara Jyothi appeared thrice on the horizon at the Sabarimala temple here Thursday evening.
The celestial light was seen after 6.40 p.m.

Sighting of the celestial light on the horizon is considered most auspicious and marks the finale of the three-month-long pilgrim season at the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

Speaking to IANS, Kerala Devasom Minister Kadnanapally Ramachandran, a first timer to witness this spectacle, said he felt very moved at seeing the light.

“It is certainly an experience. This is my first ever visit to witness this spectacle,” said Ramachandran after the light appeared on the horizon.

Speaking on facilities at the temple, the minister said since maximum pilgrims come from outside the state they would be working on improving facilities. “This should be converted into a national pilgrimage centre,” said Ramachandran, who took over the ministry last year. The Devaswom Ministry looks after all the temples that are attached to the Devaswom in the state.

The Sabarimala temple is situated on the Western Ghat ranges at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level and 4 km uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala. The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has been going up every year.

Sabarimala Police Station in-charge Ravi Kumar told IANS that the crowds were immense and there was not an inch of space around the temple. “It appears that there is not an inch of space left, because the crowd is really huge.”

Popular Hollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who is on his 11th consecutive visit to the temple, said it was “simply an amazing spiritual experience for him to be at Sabarimala”.

“The only thing I feel a bit bad is about the dumping of plastic and other waste around the temple. This has to stop and for that pilgrims have to see that they don’t strew things here and there,” said Oberoi.

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