Sabarimala Temple of Kerala, India is one Indian temple that is unique of its kind in various aspects. Thousands of devotees throng to this temple on the auspicious ‘Makara Sankranti’ season, which usually falls in the month of January. The temple is opened only during this season and various miracles take place during this period, following the ‘Makara Jyoti’ at the east of Sabarimala Hill, which is very popular. The history says that the King Pandalam, who adopted Lord Ayyappa as his son, secured a promise from the Lord. According to this, the ornaments/jewelry dedicated to the Lord by the King will be adorned to the Ayyappa idol in Sabarimala on the ‘Makara Jyothi day’ of every Sankranti festival (mostly on Jan 14). So, according to the custom, on such period, the concerned staff representing the Kingdom carry those jewelry from the palace to the temple, by foot, following a pooja and reverence. They start on January 12 and will reach the temple by Jan 14.
Following Aarti, immediately a holy eagle (referred as the Royal Garuda, the god vehicle of Lord Vishnu) flies over the palace and starts flying ahead of the people carrying ornaments, as a guard to them. Once the ornaments reach the temple, the main deity is adorned with those and a candle is lit in the temple, and in parallel immediately, a ‘Makara Jyoti’ is seen on the top of the hill eastwards to the Sabarimala hill.
One more uniqueness of this temple is thousands of devotees visit this temple, irrespective of religion.