Thousands witness `Lakshadeepam` at Padmanabha Temple
Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of devotees from all over Kerala and other states on Tuesday thronged the famous Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple here to witness "Lakshadeepam" (lighting of one lakh lamps), marking the end of the 56-day centuries-old ritual "Murajapam".
The entire temple premises was lit up and the temple towers colourfully illuminated as part of Lakshadeepam.
The "Murajapam" ritual, initiated by the 18th century Travancore King Marthanda Varma and conducted once in six years, involves the ceremonial chanting of Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda by scholars from various parts of the country.
After the start of the ritual, a large number of devotees and vedic enthusiasts gathered to have a glimpse of the event and worship Lord Padmanabha, the principal deity.
Around 200 vedic scholars from various mutts and ancient tantric families, chanted mantras. Cultural programmes were also held as part of the festival.
Scholars from Kanchi Kamakoti Peedam and Azhvancheri Mutt participated in the ceremony.
"Murajapam" means chanting mantras in turn. As per tradition, vedic matras are chanted in seven turns and each such turn comprises eight days, temple sources said.
The idol of principal deity Lord Padmanabha in a reclining posture, is adorned with traditional gold ornaments in the form of "kamalamala" and "sarapolimala" in connection with the ritual, managed by a trust run by the Travancore Royal Family.
Security in and around the temple was tight in the light of the recent recovery of a huge quantity of precious stones and jewellery, worth crores of rupees, in the underground vaults of the shrine.
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