SABARIMALA: With fears of a repeat of the unfortunate incidents connected with the entry of women in the restricted age group of 10 to 50 years at Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala disappearing, this year’s Sabarimala pilgrimage season begins on Saturday.
Pilgrims are confused over the lack of clarity and conflicting interpretations of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the revision petition.
The continued presence of a large contingent of police personnel, including companies of women police personnel, at Nilackal is causing concern to pilgrims.
Delay in the implementation of maintenance work of important Sabarimala roads by the PWD authorities is another glaring lapse.
The denial of the demand for allowing pilgrim vehicles from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu up to Pampa is another cause for worry. Inadequate basic facilities at Nilackal and Pampa, where thousands of pilgrims stay for hours, will cause problems during the pilgrimage season.
The situation in other camps, including Pandalam and Erumely, is not conducive for pilgrims.
Temple to be opened at 5 pm today
The hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa will be opened on Saturday, marking the beginning of the 41-day-long Mandala Pooja season. Melsanthi Vasudevan Nampoothiri will open the Sreekovil of the temple at 5 pm in the presence of Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru.
As an ongoing practice of the temple, no rituals will be performed at the Sreekovil in the evening.
Installation of new Sabarimala melsanthi: The installation of A K Sudhir Nampoothiri as the new melsanthi of Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple will be held at 6 pm on Saturday.
Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru will perform the installation ceremony by conducting ‘kalasabhishekam’ on the new melsanthi in front of the Sreekovil at 6 pm.
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On conclusion of the ‘kalasabhishekam’, the thantri will whisper the ‘moolamantram’ of Lord Ayyappa in the ear of the new melsanthi.
New melsanthi to take charge on Nov 17: Sudhir will take charge as the new melsanthi for a one-year term on the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrichikom.
New melsanthi of Malikappuram Devi temple: New melsanthi of Malikappuram Devi temple Parameswaran Nampoothiri will take charge on November 17.
The installation ceremony of the new melsanthi will be held under the leadership of the thantri at Malikappuram temple at 8 pm on November 16.