Pathanamthitta, Aug 17: The Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala was opened today for 'poojas' in the Malayalam Month of 'Chingam.' Melsanthi T K Krishnan Nampoothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum at 1730 hrs and lit the ceremonial lamps in the presence of Kantararu Maheswararu, the current Thantri.
No 'poojas' were performed on Sunday, Aug 17. Regular ''poojas' will commence on Monday, Aug 18 morning with the new Thantri Kantararu Rajeevararu performing Ashtadravya Maha Ganapathi Homam. The new Thantri hails from Thazhamon Madhom at Kallisseri near Chengannoor. He is entitled to perform Thantric rituals at Sabariamala Ayyappa Temple for the next one year from Chingam One that falls on Sunday.
A 'Leksharchana' and a 'Sahsrakalabhabhishekam' besides 'Pushpabhishekam' and 'Padipooja' will be performed on Sunday.
'Padipooja,' 'Udayasthamana Pooja' and 'Neyyabhishekam' will be held on all the five days.
The hill-shrine will be closed on August 21 at 2230 hrs after 'Athazha Pooja.' It will re-open on September ten for Onam Festival.
The shrine will be closed on September 14 evening.