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Sabarimala temple opens for Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival

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Sabarimala (Kerala): The world famous Lord Ayyappa temple here opened on Wednesday evening for a two-month long Mandalam-Makaravilakku annual festival begining on November 17, the first day of Malayalam month ‘Vrichikam.

The Sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) of the hill shrine was opened by the outgoing Melsanthi (head priest) N Parameswaran Namboodri in the presence of “Thantri” Mahesh Mohanaru (chief priest) at 5 pm.

However, no ritual was performed at the Sreekovil last evening as part of the ongoing practice. Tantri Rajeevaru Kandararu lit the sacred fire place (Aazhi) at the Lower Thirumuttam.

Later, the installation of K Jayaraman Namboothiri as new Melsanthi of the Lord Ayyappa temple was performed. Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru performed the installation ceremony by conducting ‘Kalasabhishekam’ on the new Melsanthi in front of the Sreekovil at 1800 hrs.

Later the Thantri whispered the ‘Moolamantram’ of Lord Ayyappa in the ear of the new Melsanthi.

The new Melsanthi will take charge on November 17 for a one-year term on the first day of the Malayalam month of ‘Vrichikom.’

The installation ceremony of the new Melsanth of Malikappuram Devi temple, Hariharan Namboothiri was also performed by the chief priest last evening.

Later, the outgoing Melsanthis of the both the temples returned to their homes after completing their one-year tenure in the temple last evening.

The temple rituals will begin by Tantri performing Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathi Homam on Thursday morning. The Neyyabhishekam will begin after Ashtabhishekom.

The annual Madala Pooja will be held on December 27 and Makaravilakku on January 14, 2023.

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