The world-famous Lord Ayyappa temple here has been opened on Thursday 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 “Thantri” Mahesh Mohanaru (chief priest) at 1700 hrs.
However, no ritual was performed at the Sreekovil last evening as part of the ongoing practice. Tantri Mahesh Mohanaru lit the sacred fire place (Aazhi) at the Lower Thirumuttam.
Later, the installation of PN Mahesh 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 took charge on Friday morning 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, PG Murali was also performed by the chief priest last evening.
The temple rituals began by Tantri performing Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathi Homam on Friday morning. The Neyyabhishekam began after Ashtabhishekom.
This year’s Mandala Pooja festival will complete on December 27, 2023. Later, the temple will open on December 30, 2023 for Makaravilakku festival. After the Makaravilakku Darshan on January 15, 2024, the festival will conclude on January 20, 2024.
About 13,000 police personnel will be deputed during the festival season and the state-owned KSRTC will run 500 buses daily from various places to Pamba.z