Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Jan.15 ANI | 2 years ago

Thousands of Hindu devotees thronged the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple here and offered special prayers by lighting over 100,000 earthen lamps.

It is also known as "Lakshadeepam" and marks the onset of the harvest season.

Lakshadeepam literally translates into one lakh lamps. On this day, the entire temple is lit with oil lamps and in its glittering background Lord Vishnu, Lord Narasimha and Lord Krishna are taken out on Garudavahana (eagle shaped chariot) in a grand procession.

Sree Padmanabha temple, located in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala, is famous for the historic Murajapam Festival observed once in six years.

This is a tradition that started in 1750 A.D. The 56- day- long Murajapam Festival, that began on November 19, 2013 concluded on Makara Sankranthi day, according to the Malayalam calendar and included chanting of three Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda).This is for the welfare of the people and land.

"It is celebrated once in every six years. The "lakshadeepam" is conducted for the well-being and the prosperity of all the people living in the state," said a devotee, Surya Kala.

The last Lakshadeepam was celebrated in 2008. The ritual still continues as an immensely grand festival and visual magnitude attracting staggering numbers to the doors of this great temple.

"When we read the newspaper in the morning we got to know about this festival and we were very curious to know more about it, so we decided to visit the temple in the evening. There is a huge rush of visitors and devotees. People look very excited as it is celebrated once in six years. We are really happy to be here," said a tourist from Uttar Pradesh, Rahul.

Police and temple authorities made elaborate arrangements for the ritual. About 30,000 devotees witnessed the ritual inside the temple.

(Posted on 15-01-2014)

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