Temple opened for Mandalapooja Festival
The Hill Shrine of Lord Ayyappa was opened for the 60days long Mandalapooja-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season on Tuesday evening.
Melsanthi S E Sankaran Nampoothiri opened the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple at 5pm in the presence of Thantri Kandararu Rajeevaru. As practice no ritual was conducted at the Sreekovil in the evening.
The installation ceremony of T M Unnikrishnan Namboothiri as new Melsanthi was conducted in front of the Sreekovil at 6pm. Thantri conducted kalasabhishekam (ottakalasam) on Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri and was led into the Sreekovil for passing on the 'moolamanthram' of Lord Ayyappa. The ceremony in connection with the handing over of the key of the Sreekovil was held after the closure of the shrine at 10pm.
As part of the ceremony, the outgoing Melsanthi handed over the keys to the Devaswom Administrative Officer and thereupon the key to Melsanthi.