Sabarimala: Thousands of Ayyappa devotees today offered worship at the famous hill shrine here during the 'mandala pooja', which marked the conclusion of the first phase of the two-month-long pilgrimage season.
The 'Sannidhanam' atop the holly hillock reverberated with the chant of "Swami saranam" as the pooja was performed by priests in the afternoon after the idol of Lord Ayyappa was adorned with the glittering golden attire 'Thanka Anki.'
The temple witnessed a huge crowd of devotees from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andha Pradesh and Kerala.
The idol was adorned with 'Thanga Anki' (golden attire) for the Mandala pooja and Deepaaradhana (Aarthi) in the evening.
The ceremonial procession carrying the golden attire reached Sannidhanam yesterday from Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula.
The temple recorded the highest ever revenue collection this pilgrimage season with the total earnings touching Rs 141.64 crore, an increase of Rs 14 crore during the corresponding period last year, officials of Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine, said.
Hundi collection touched Rs 51.17 crore against last year's Rs 47.29 crore, while revenue from the sale of 'Aravana prasadam' touched Rs 54.31 crore from Rs 50.38 crore and 'appam' Rs 10.32 crore from Rs 9.77 crore last year.
After being closed tonight, the shrine will be reopened on December 30 for the 'Makaravilakku' which falls on January 14.