It is celebrated on the 41 day in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam after Deeparadhana and Athazhapooja in the evening. Devi of Bhagavathikkunnu is taken in palanquin (pallakku) as a procession to Malanada. Special poojas are performed there and the idol is brought back to the Temple.
Devotees observe traditional austerities (vratham) which normally start from the 1st day of Vrischikam (17th November). Devotees initiate the vratham wearing a Tulsi or Rudraksha mala. This is also known as Sabarimala season, when pilgrims all over the world visit the holly shrine of Sabarimala. November 17 or Vrischikam 1 is the beginning of Mandalamasa or when the sun enters 1st Degree of Scorpio, Vrischika. It is also known as Vrischikamasa aarambha and is considered holly for 41 days. Mandala is a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. The basic form of most mandala is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. It represents the universe. The term mandala appears in the “Rig-Veda”. This symbol is used as a spiritual guidance to, and as an aid to meditation and transe induction.
The mandalapooja, which is considered to be the completion of the 41 day mandala vratham, will be observed on December 27. The Ayyappa idol will be adorned with Thanka Anki (sacred golden attire) preceding the uchapooja at Sabarimala. Marking the culmination of this 41 day Sabarimala Pilgrimage.