The annual Makaravilakku festival at the Sabarimala Temple came to a close with the closure of the sanctum sanctorum immediately after the customary worship exclusively by the royal representative of the Pandalam Palace, Ashoka Varma Raja, on Sunday morning.
The head priest (Melsanthi), N. Damodaran Potti, opened the sanctum sanctorum to facilitate the customary worship exclusively for the royal designate at 6.30 am. No other person was permitted to offer prayers at the Ayyappa shrine on Sunday.
As it being the custom, the Melsanthi had closed the sanctum sanctorum and handed over the keys to the royal representative who, in turn, had given a purse as dakshina to the priest.
The Raja had descended the holy 18-steps and returned the keys to the Melsanthi, in the presence of the Devaswom Executive Officer and Administrative Officer at the Lower Tirumuttom, later.
Courtesy : The Hindu