Thiruvabharanam- the sacred jewels adorning Sabarimala Ayyappa once in a yearThe holy jewels that are adorned on the idol of Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala are also called Thiruvabharanam .
Legend is that Ayyappa was the son of Shiva and Vishnu (in Mohini form). The heavenly child is found on Earth by the childless King Rajashekara of Pandalam kingdom(a branch of Pandya dynasty) who brought him up as Manikanta. A series of turn events happened and legend is that ultimately Ayyappa abandons material life even as a youth an settles as a brahmachari at the abode at Sabarimala.
The holy jewels to be adorned on the idol are sent from Ayyappa's foster family, Pandala Royal family. This is done once in a year to be adorned for the Deepaaradhana time(Aarati) on Makara Vilakku day which usually falls on Jan 14 or 15.
The sacred jewels for Ayyappa is kept secured in the Pandalam Royal family in a special jewel casket. Three days before the Makara Vilakku day the holly jewels are taken out from the Pandalam 'palace' with piety and rituals and then carried on head by specially selected devotees under security all the way covering about more than 85 kilometres some of which is through forest and river.
An eagle(Krishna Parundu) hovers over the place at the start of the procession and also seen hovering over the Sabarimala temple when the holy jewels procession reaches there. Devotees believe as Garuda accompanying the scared jewels. The holy jewels reach Sabarimala on time just before the Deepaaradhan time.The holy jewels are then after adorning on the idol, Deeparadhana is performed and devotees to see the Lord in all his splendour and feel blessed.
Thousands throng Sabarimala for the Thiruvabharana(sacred jewels) Darshan on Makra Vilakku.