Lord Ayyapa Temple at Sabarimala opens for ''Poojas''

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Pathanamthitta, Oct 17 (UNI) The Loard Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala was opened for ''Poojas'' in the Malayalam month of ''Thulam today.

Melsanthi E Eswaran Nampoothiri opened the Sanctum Sanctorum at 1730 hrs in the presence of Tantri Kantararu Maheswararu and lighted the ceremonial lamps.

Braving heavy rain, hundreds of devotees thronged ''Sannidhanam' to worship the lord. No ''Poojas'' were performed today.

Regular ''Poojas'' would begin from tomorrow morning with a ''Ganapathi Homam'' to be performed by the Tantri. ''Padipooja'' and ''Udayasthamana Pooja'' would be performed from October 18 to 22.

A ''Sahasrakalasabhishekam'' would be offerred to the presiding deity on October 19. The hill-shrine would be closed on October 22 at 1000 hrs after ''Athazha Pooja''. The new Melsanthis for the Ayyappa Temple and Malikappuram Devi Temple would be selected through draw of lots tomorrow at 1000 hrs at respective ''Sopanams.'' Nine candidates each were shortlisted on the basis of interviews for the posts of Melsanthis for both the temples. New Melsanthis would be installed on November 16 evening.

UNI

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