Kerala: Sabarimala temple to reopen today; check details here
The Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala will reopen on Saturday at 5 pm for Thula Masam pooja for a period of six days till October 21. The doors of the holy shrine will be opened by chief priest VK Jayaraj Potty. However, devotees will be allowed to enter the shrine only from Sunday morning, said Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple.
In a release, TDB said no pooja would be performed on the day of opening. On Saturday, lamps will be lit by chief priest Potty in the presence of the Thanthri Kandararu Mahesh Mohanaru. Subsequently, the Upadevata temple would be opened and another lamp would be lit there. A fire would also be lit before the 18th step leading to the shrine.
According to TDB, during this period of six days, five rituals will be performed. These include Neyyabhishekam, Udayasthamana Pooja, Kalabhabhishekam, Padipooja, and Pushpabhishekam.
Amid concerns of COVID-19 infections in the state, the temple administration has decided to put some restrictions on the entry of devotees to the shrine. It maintained that devotees would only be permitted through the Kerala Police's virtual queue system. Devotees arriving at the temple must have a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine certificate or a negative RT-PCR report with them, TDB added.
Separately, there will be a draw of lots on Sunday after Ushapoojas to select the next chief priest of Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples. The lots will be drawn by two boys above the age of 10 from the Pandalam Palace. Nine candidates have been shortlisted for the post of the Sabarimala chief priest. Notably, the tenure of the chief priest is one year.
After October 21, the Sabarimala temple will be reopening again on November 2 for a day for Chithira Attavishesham. Then, on November 15, the temple will be opened again for the Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival.