SABARIMALA: The Lord Ayyappa hill shrine here was opened on Sunday for the ten-day annual festival, which begins on Monday with kodiyettu ceremony.
Temple thantri Mahesh Mohanaru will conduct the kodiyettu ceremony between 9.20 and 10 am in the presence of Melsanthi Sankaran Nampoothiri.
Before the kodiyettu ceremony, the thantri will conduct poojas on the temple flag at the Sreekovil. Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan, members Ajay Tharayil and P K Kumaran, devaswom commissioner Ramaraja Prema Prasad, special commissioner K Babu, devaswom chief engineer G Muralikrishnan,Sabarimala devaswom executive officer Renugopal and devaswom administrative officer Somasekharan Nair will be present.
As part of the kodiyettu, the devotees will be offered kodiyettu feast, which will be inaugurated by Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan by lighting the traditional lamp at the annadanam hall on the south of aravana plant at 11 am.
Utsavabali, one of the important rituals as part of the annual festival, will be held on the seven days from second day of the festival on March 15 to March 20.
The three-hour long ritual, which begins at 10.30 am, will be conducted under the leadership of Thantri Mahesh. The ritual will conclude with utsavabali darsan for the devotees at 1-30 pm.
Vilakkinezhunnellippu, the procession carrying the thidambu of Lord Ayyappa on caparisoned elephant will be taken out at Sopanam at 7.30 pm on the four days of the festival from the fifth day to eighth day.
Pallivetta, one of the important ceremonies of the annual festival, will be held at Saramkuthi at 10 pm on March 22. The pallivetta procession carrying the thidambu of the Lord on caparisoned elephant will be taken out from Sopanam to Saramkuthi. After the pallivetta ritual, the procession will return to Sopnam at 11 pm on March 22.
Arattu ceremony, one of the concluding rituals of the annual festival, will be held at the arattu kadavu in Pampa river, opposite to Pampa Lord Ganapathi temple at 11,30 am on March 23.
Arattu procession,carrying the Sreebali idol of the Lord on a caparionsed elephant, will be taken out from Sannidhanam to Pampa at 9 am after arattubali.
On reaching Pampa, the thantri will conduct the arrattu ceremony in the presence of the melsanthi.
After the procession, the Sreebali idol of the Lord will be kept at the Mandapam of the Lord Ganapathi temple at 12.30 pm for ‘para’ offerings by the devotees and darsan till 3 pm.
The arattu return procession will leave Pampa and reach Sopanam at 7 pm. The festival will conclude after kodiyirakku, valiyakanikka, atahzha pooja and Harivarasanam at 10 pm on March 23.