Thiruvabharanam is the Gold jewel box of Lord Ayyappa which is annually brought from Pandalam to Sannidhanam, for the Makaravilakku festival at Sabarimala, to mark the grand finale of the two-month period of the Sabarimala pilgrimage on Makar Sankranti Day.
It is believed that these holy ornaments were offered to Lord Ayyappa by the Pandalam King, who had adopted Lord Ayyappa as his child.
Thiruvabharanam Procession :
The 83 km long Thiruvabharanam Procession from Pandalam to Sannidhanam takes three days and it is attended by Lakhs of devotees.
Generally, on 12 or 13 January, the procession starts at 4 am in the morning as the holy boxes are taken from Srampickal Palace and moved to adjoining Valiyakoickal Sastha Temple for viewing and worship.
Lakhs of devotees visit the temple early morning for darshan of the ornaments and rendering offerings, as this is considered to be highly auspicious and beneficial. The jewels are kept there till 12:30 pm.
At around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, a celestial kite popularly known as ‘krishnapparunthu’ is sighted circling far above the temple. Devotees believe that this is Lord Vishnu upon ‘Garuda’ accompanying the Thiruvabharanam from Pandalam through Sabarimala.
Lord Garuda is worshipped by Lakhs of devotees with chanting of Sarana Gosham.
2019 Thiruvabharanam Procession Route :
The procession leaves Valiyakoickal Sastha Temple at around 1 pm in afternoon to reach Ayroor Puthiyakavu Devi temple in evening of the same day via Kaippuzha, Kulanada, Ullannoor, Parayankara, Kuriyanipallay, Kooduvettickal, Kavumpady, Kidangannur and Aranmula.
Next morning, the procession will resume its journey from Ayroor to reach Laha on evening travelling via Peroorchal, Keekozhoor, Aayickal, Pulickamoozhy, Kuthukallinpady, Mandiram, Edakkulam, Vadaserikkara, Madamon, Perinad and Puthukkada.
Next morning, the procession will resume its journey from Laha to reach its final destination i.e., Sabarimala Sannidhanam by evening via Plappally, Elavumkal, Nilackal, Attathode, Kollamoozhy, Vellachimala, Aettappetty, Oliyampuzha, Valiayanavattom, Cheriyanavattom, Neelimala, Appachimedu and Saramkuthi.
Thiruvabharanam Boxes and its Content :
Every year, three holy caskets are used for the Sabarimala Thiruvabharana Procession. They consist of Thiruvabharana Petti, Velli Petti and Kodi Petti.
Thiruvabharana Petti contains -
- Valia churika
- Cheria churika
- Prabha mandalam
- Lakshmi roopam
- Erukkum Poomala
- Mani mal
- Velakku mala
- Sarapoli mala
- Navarathna mothiram
- Velli kettia valampiri sankh
- Kaduva (miniature replica): 1
- Aana (miniature replica): 1
Velli Petti contains -
- Pooja utensils
- Thaila kudam for kalasam
Kodi Petti contains –
- Netti pattom for elephant
- Mezhuvatta kuda
- Chattah Idunna jeevatha
- Flags of Udampara and Talapara
After the procession reaches Sabarimala Sannidhanam the Melshanthi (Chief Priest) and Thandhri receive the sacred jewels amidst the thundering echoes of Sarana ghosham. The priests then adorn Lord Ayyappa with these and performs aarti.
At the same moment a brilliant light of amazing magnificence appears in the northeastern side to the temple at the opposite mountain in a place called Kantamala (the home of devas and rishis). It is believed that this brilliant flame of light is the arathi performed by the rishis and the devas. This event marks the culmination of the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
2019 Thiruvabharanam Procession :
In 2019, Sabarimala Thiruvabharanam Procession will begin on January 12, 2019 and will reach Sabarimala Sannidhanam on January 14, 2019 for the Makaravilakku Puja in evening of the same day.
2019 Thiruvabharanam Procession Return Journey :
Seven day after the Makara Vilakku festival, i.e., on the morning of 7th Makaram the Sabarimala temple is closed for the season and the return journey of the Thiruvabharanam commences immediately and the holy ornaments reach back in Pandalam three days later.