SABARIMALA: The Lord Ayyappa temple was opened for the two-month-long pilgrimage season on Monday. The Mandalam-Makaravilakku season starts on the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrischikam on Tuesday.
Melsanthi Jayaraj Potti opened the sreekovil at 5.30pm in the presence of Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru. In the wake of heavy rain, the state government has imposed restrictions for the next three days, including ban on spot and virtual queue booking for darsan and the customary bath in Pampa river.
However, devotees who arrive at Nilackal pilgrim transit centre with virtual queue passes would be allowed darsan at the Lord Ayyappa temple, said Sabarimala chief police coordinator ADGP S Sreejith. Though 30,000 devotees have taken passes through virtual queue system, only 8,000 have confirmed their arrival for darsan on the first day of the season, he said. Meanwhile, the installation ceremonies of new melsanthi of Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples were held under the leadership of Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru.