K Jayaraman Namboothiri is new chief priest of Sabrimala's Lord Ayyappa Temple
Sabarimala, Oct 18: K Jayaraman Namboothiri was on Tuesday appointed as the new 'melsanthi' (chief priest) of the famed Lord Ayyappa Temple here for one year from November 16, when the annual pilgrimage season commences here.
Hariharan Namboothiri was selected as the chief priest of the adjoining Malikappuram Devi temple.
Both of them were selected to the auspicious position through a draw of lots held in front of the 'sreekovil' (sanctum sanctorum) of the hillock temple, located in Pathanamthitta district of the state.
The selections were made by drawing lots from a panel of priests shortlisted after interviews were conducted by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the apex temple body which manages the hill shrine, temple sources here said.
Two children, belonging to the Pandalam royal family, took the lots in the presence of the TDB officials. An ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa, Jayaraman Namboothtiri, hailing from Kannur, said the selection was a dream-cum-true for him as he was longing to serve the Sabariamal deity.
He also said he had been applying for the 'melsanthi' post for the past several years and the God showered his blessings this time. Both the priests would over the charge on November 16, on the eve of the 41-day Mandala season starting from the month of Vrishchikam of Malayalam calendar, TDB sources added.