The devotees who started their penance period wearing the garland before a visit to the Sabarimalai Lord Sri Ayyappan Temple today (Thursday, 17th November).
It is an annual special festive occasion at the famous Sabarimalai Lord Sri Ayyappan temple when the corridors of the temple remain open for the Mandala Poojai and Makara Vilakku Poojai from the Tamil/Malayalam calendar month from the start of the month Karthigai until the start of the month Thai!
During this holy period, Lakhs of Devotees Undertakes the Pilgrimage to Sabarimalai to have the Darshan of Lord Sri Ayyappan!
Most of these devotees undertaking pilgrimage usually wear the garland on the 1st day of the month of Karthigai!
As such, today being the 1st day of the Tamil calendar month of Karthigai, visited the nearest temples of Lord Ayyappan or Lord Vinayaka Temples, stood in long queues and wore the garlands as penance for undertaking this Sabarimalai Yatra or Pilgrimage for having Darshan of Lord Sri Ayyappan!
IT IS WORTH NOTING HERE THAT DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC WHICH AFFECTED THE ENTIRE GLOBE FOR 2 YEARS, WITH LOTS OF STRICT RESTRICTIONS BEING IMPOSED, THE CROWD OF DEVOTEES DURING THE LAST 2 YEARS WAS CONSIDERABLY LESS!
However, with more or less full relaxation of the restrictions, more than TRIPLE the average number of devotees wore farmlands!