Sabarimala temple opens for pilgrimage season
Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple was opened at 5 pm on Wednesday for the annual pilgrimage season. Braving heavy rain, thousands thronged Sannidhanam since afternoon for darshan.
Outgoing melsanthi Parameswaran Nampoothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum in the presence of thantri Kandararu Rajivaru. Travancore Devaswom Board president K Ananthagopan, member P M Thankappan and executive officer Krishnakumar were present.
Heavy rain, which began at 3.30 pm and continued till 7 pm, caused hardships for devotees at Pampa, Sannidhanam and the trekking path. The installation ceremony of new melsanthi Jayaraman Nampoothiri was held in front of the sanctum sanctorum at 6.30 pm.
The thantri performed kalasabhishekam on the new chief priest, led him to the sreekovil and passed on Lord Ayyappa’s moolamanthram in his ears. A similar ceremony followed at Malikappuram Devi temple for its new melsanthi Hariharan Nampoothiri.
The two melsanthis will take charge for a one-year period on Thursday. During the 41-day long Mandala Pooja season which gets over on December 27, the temple will open for darshan at 3 am and close at 1 pm and reopen at 4 pm and close at 11 pm.