The five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Chingom at the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala came to a close with the Athazhapuja on Sunday evening.

A Sahasrakalasabhishekom and Kalabhabhishekom were performed at the Ayyappa shrine prior to the Utchapuja.

The chief priest (Tantri), Kandararu Rajeevararu, assisted by the head priest (Melsanthi), S.E. Sankaran Namboodiri, and other priests, prepared the holy water in 1,000 small copper urns and the Brahmakalasom.

The Kalabhapuja was performed at the Namaskara Mandapam in the forenoon. The Brahmakalasom (holy water) and the sandal paste (kalabhom) in two golden urns were taken out in a customary ceremonial procession, with the accompaniments of the sacred Marappani and other traditional temple percussion, for pouring it over the Ayyappa idol by 12.15 pm.

The Tantri performed the Abhishekom and the sandal paste offered to the deity was distributed among the devotees as prasadom, later.

Rituals

Padipuja, Udayasthamanapuja and Pushpabhishekom were the other important rituals performed at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom deployed 200 volunteers at Sabarimala and Pampa for an intensive cleaning operation in the afternoon.

According to the sanghom general secretary, N.Velayudhan Nair, the volunteers will continue the cleaning drive on Monday in an effort to keep the pilgrim centre clean and hygienic.

He said the sanghom has been carrying out cleaning drive at Sabarimala immediately after the culmination of the monthly rituals every month.