Makara Jyothi is a celestial star which appears on the day of Makara Sankranthi on top of Kantamala Hills. This Jyothi appears to the south of Sanctum Sanctorum. On the day of Makara Sankranthi, Sun moves from Dhanush Rasi to Makara Rasi. It is believed that one who watches Makara Jyothi and Makara Vilakku will be relieved from the birth cycle. Lakhs of Ayyappa devotees gather at Sannidhanam and at different spots to witness this Jyothi, as it marks the end of Sabarimala Deeksha. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa appear himself as the Makara Jyothi (star) to bless the devotees.
Makara Jyothi will be celebrated every year on 14th January. This star will appear in the sky after performing Deeparadhana at Sannidhanam. Well before Deeparadhana begins, an Eagle, Lord Vishnu’s guardian flys high in the sky at Sabarimala Temple and this marks the beginning of the festival Makaravilakku. Makaravilakku is the holy fire which will be lit thrice after Deeparadhana at Sannidhanam.
It is estimated that half million devotees participate in this event to witness the celestial star and the holy fire lit on the Ponnabalamedu hills. It is the only one mantra ” Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” which the devotees chant in the Sabarimala Hills.
Best places to View Makara Jyothi
- Sannidhanam is one of the best places with a good view, but this place will always be crowded.
- Pandithavalam is another place with a good view
- Marakoottam, this is the place where the paths merge. Even this spot is good for Darshan.
- Malikappuram which is near Manimandapam is another spot for a good view.
- Hilltop parking ground at Pamba River
There are other places which are little far from the hills and the darshan depends on the clouds over the region.
Makara Jyothi Gallery
Reference Link: Deepam History