The hill abode of Lord Ayyappa will be opened on October 16 for the five-day monthly poojas for the Malayalam month of Thulam. Melsanthi Damodaran Potti will open the Sreekovil of the temple at 5.30 pm in the presence of Thantri Kandararu Maheswararu. As a practice, no rituals will be held at the Sreekovil of the temple in the evening.
Sahasrakalasam, Laksharchana and Kalabhabhishekam will be the special poojas that will be held during the five days of the Malayalam month of Thulam. Udayasthamana pooja, padi pooja and pushpabhishekam will be the other poojas to be held on these days.
The selection of the new priests for Sabarimala and Malikappuram will be held at the sopanam at 8 am after usha pooja on October 17.
The selection will be done through draw of lots from the shortlisted melsanthi list of 16 aspirants for Sabarimala and 12 for Malikappuram. The selection will be under the overall supervision of Sabarimala special commissioner K Babu in the presence of Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president M P Govindan Nair, members Subhash Vasu and P K Kumaran.
The list of aspirants was prepared after interview by a seven-member jury consisting of the TDB president, members Subhash Vasu and P K Kumaran, Devaswom commissioner P Venugopal, thantri Kandararu Maheswararu, Kandararu Rajeevaru and thantri Akeeramon Kalidasa Bhattathiri on October 8 and 9. The new melsanthis for Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples will be selected for a period of one year from the first day of the mandala pooja pilgrimage season on November 16.