The Sabarimala shrine has been opened for the annual 21-day annual Makaravilakku festival season.
Women Enters Sabarimala Shrine
The History was made on 2nd January 2019. Women on the menstrual age entered the Sabarimala shrine during this season of Makaravilakku festival. Even though Supreme Court had struck down the century-old religious practice which barred the entry of women in the menstrual age to the temple, the entry of women was not possible due to widespread opposition by the religious groups. But during the early hours of 2nd January 2019 two women by name Bindu Ammini, 42 years and Kanaka Durga, 44 years entered the adobe of Swamy Ayappa.
Makaravilakku is the religious practice performed by the tribes in the forest of Ponnambalamedu. Once the Cyrus star (Makara Jyothi) appears in the sky during the day of the Makara Sankranti festival, the tribes perform their rituals in a temple at Ponnambalamedu forest.
As part of the ritual, the tribes perform aarathi by lighting camphor and ghee in a vessel and circling around the idol at the temple in the Ponnambalamedu forest 3 times. This Aarathi performed by the tribes is referred to as Makaravilakku.