Amidst Saranam Chantings ,sanctum sanctorum of Lord Ayyappa opened

published on November 16, 2007

Sabarimala shrine opens for pilgrim season

Pioneer News Service | Pathanamthitta

Cries of Saranam Ayyappa reverberated at Sannidhanam as the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappa temple was opened on Friday evening for the 41-day Mandalavilakku pilgrimage season starting on Saturday. The door of the shrine was opened jointly by temple Tanthri Kantararu Maheswaru and outgoing Melshanthi P Easwaran Namboothiri.

The rites and rituals for the season got to a start with the two priests lighting the lamp inside the sanctum sanctorum. Later, the traditional tolling of bells marked the ritual of informing the deity of the presence of devotees at the temple. The shrine at the adjoining Malikappuram temple was opened by Melshanthi Madhusoodanan Potti.

After the new head priests of the main shrine and of Malikappuram were given the charge in the evening, the outgoing priests left Sannidhanam by 10.00 pm. There were no special poojas on Friday at the temple.

The Mandalavilakku poojas were to start at 4.00 am on Saturday after the opening of the shrine and Neyyabhishekam by new Melshanthi TK Krishnan Namboothiri. The Government and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which is in charge of the administration of the hill shrine, are expecting more than three crore devotees from various parts of the country in the Mandalam and Makara-vilakku pilgrim seasons.

Officials and workers were busy the whole day giving final touches to the amenities being arranged for the pilgrims for the 41-day event. Police, Fire Force and Excise personnel on special duty at Sabarimala had reached Pamba, the base station for the pilgrimage. A cleaning mission of more than 500 men under the Ayyappa Sewa Sangham has already started operations in Pamba, Sannidhanam and other areas.

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