SABARIMALA: The Lord Ayyappa temple here was opened for the eight-day Vishu festival on Saturday. Melsanthi Jayaraj Potti opened the sanctum sanctorum in the presence of thantri Kandararu Rajivaru. The Travancore Devaswom Board continued to impose restrictions on devotees as part of rise in the number of Covid- 19 cases. The number of devotees allowed for darshan through virtual queue passes will be 10,000 a day with mandatory RT-PCR negative certificates.
Devotees will be allowed for darshan only at 5 am on April 11. The temple will be opened for devotees for ‘Vishukani’ darshan at 5am on April 14. As part of the preparations for ‘Vishukani’ darshan, the idol of the lord will be decorated with flowers before the sreekovil at 9pm on April 13. Devotees will be offered coins by the thantri and the melsanthi in front of the sreekovil after the darshan. Kalabhabhishekam, udayasthamana pooja and padi pooja will be performed at the temple on all eight days of the festival.
As part of kalabhabhishekam on April 11, the thantri will perform brahmakalasa pooja at the mandapam of the temple in the presence of the melsanthi at 9am on April 11. The ritual will conclude with kalabhabhishekam on the idol during uchcha pooja after the procession carrying the brahmakalasam led by the thantri circumambulates the sreekovil. The temple will be closed on April 18 after athazha pooja and harivarasanam at 9pm.