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Difference between Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

The sighting of Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku on Makar Sankranti day at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple is considered highly auspicious and is witnessed by thousands of people. Is Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku the same? Or is there a difference between the two?

During a controversy that happened regarding Makaravilakku last year, the traditional supreme priest of the Sabarimala temple, Tantri Kantaru Maheswararu, had stated that Makaravilakku was a fire lit by human hand on the Ponnambala Medu hill neighboring Sabarimala while the Makarajyothi was a star that appeared in the evening sky on the day marking the culmination of the annual festival on Makara Sankranti day. (The Hindu)

Makaravilakku is the lamp that is lit at Ponnambala Medu hill neighboring Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple.
Makarajyothi is the star that appears in the evening sky on the day of the festival.

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