Since early Wednesday morning, since the time the gates of Sri Ayyappa Temple in MRC Nagar were opened, small groups of people streamed into the temple to launch their preparations for the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple shrine later.
This is the day when many Sri Ayyappa devotees formally start following certain regulations and practices to prepare for the pilgrimage.
A priest at the temple made the formal initiation, putting bead malais around the necks of devotees, both men and women who were at the temple.
There was no big rush though and all people were asked to mask and keep social distance. But the stream of devotees here is expected to increase in the days ahead.