The Mandala Puja at
marks the culmination of the 41-day Mandala Kalam or Mandala Pooja season. The Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple remains continuously open for 41 days only during this period. After the Mandala Pooja, the temple closes for a brief period of two to three days and reopens for Makaravilakku festival. In 2008, the date of Sabarimala Mandala Pooja is December 26. Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple
The Sabarimala Mandala Kalam begins in mid-November – on the first day of Malayalam month Vrishchikam. The 41 days conclude during the last week of December – in the Malayalam month Dhanu. The puja on last day is known as Mandala Puja and it is held in the evening. The puja is held by adorning the Thanka Anki (golden attire) which is brought in a procession from the famous Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple.
The shrine then closes for three days and reopens for the famous Makaravilakku festival which is marked by numerous processions including the famous Petta Thullal.