Sabarimala gears up for Makaravilakku

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Preparations are nearing completion atSabarimala temple for Makaravilakku festival, which falls on Monday. Anticipating a spurt in the number of pilgrims on the day, police have announced a fresh set of restrictions to private vehicles coming to Sabarimala for three days, starting Sunday.

According to an official communique from Kottayam district police, all pilgrims travelling by private/taxi vehicles from 4pm on Sunday to 8am on Tuesday should park their vehicles at parking areas at Erumely and travel to Pamba by KSRTC buses. Similarly, buses heading to Sabarimala from Pathanamthitta side are expected to park at Wadasserykkara, Laha or Pathanamthitta, depending on availability of parking slots, and passengers can board KSRTC buses, which according to authorities, would operate chain services to Sabarimala on these days.

This year’sMakara Sankranti, the first day ofSun’s transit into Makara(Capricorn), is expected to take place at 7 .52pm on Monday. Coinciding with this, Makarajyothi would be lit at Ponnambalamedu as a symbolic act indicating changes in the position of celestial bodies.
Travancore devaswom board has asked pilgrims to cooperate with the special arrangements being put in place by police. “Arrangements have been made for parking of 8,000 vehicles at the Nilackal parking ground,” the statement said. According to the board authorities, private vehicles to Nilackal would be restricted from the entry points to the pilgrimage route from Pathanamthitta and Kottayam once the parking facility at Nilackal gets exhausted.
“KSRTC buses would operate return services from Nilackal to the parking lots at Wadasserykkara, Laha or Pathanamthitta.
In case of emergency, pilgrims may contact the following officials over telephone. Motor vehicles department – 9400044991, police control room – 04735 205055, special officer (Nilackal) -9497996906, assistant special officer (Nilackal) – 9497990187, Nilackal police station – 04734 205100, CI (Nilackal) – 9497931415, executive magistrate – 949544735, 9447657767, special officer (Erumeli) – 9497996994, special officer (Wadasserykkara) – 9497996967, district police chief (Pathanamtitta) – 9497996983.