Pathanamthitta: Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple will open on Sunday at 5 pm for the Mandala pilgrimage season. Melsanthi AK Sudheer Namboothiri will open the door of the sanctum sanctorum and light the lamps in the presence of Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru. Devotees will be allowed to enter the shrine from Monday onwards.
Only pilgrims who have booked darshan via virtual queue are permitted to visit the temple.
After the deeparadhana on Sunday evening, the newly elected melshanthi VK Jayaraj Potty and Malikkapuram Melshanthi MN Rajikumar will be officially instated in the post at the temple.
After closing the temple doors during the night, the present Sabarimal melsanthi AK Sudheer Namboothiri and Malikappuram Melshanthi MS Parameswaran Namboothi will descent the hills to relinquish the post.
The newly elected priests would assume charge on Vrichikam 1 which falls on November 17, Tuesday.
Devotees are restricted from performing Neyabhishekam at the temple due to COVID crisis. Hence, they are directed to hand over the coconut filled with ghee at the special counter of the devaswom board. While leaving the temple after visiting Malikappuram temple, a part of the ghee which was used for the abhishekam will be given to the devotees from the north gate.
COVID-19 test certificate mandatory
Each pilgrim should carry a COVID negative certificate taken within the last 24 hours. Those who do not carry the test certificate must undergo the test at the testing kiosk in Nilakkal. Pilgrims who test positive for COVID-19 will be shifted to CFLTC at Ranni.
Small vehicles will be allowed in Pampa
Officials informed that small vehicles will be allowed to enter Pampa. But these vehicles should be parked at Nilakkal after dropping the pilgrims at Triveni. The pilgrims are only permitted to head to the hill shrine via Vadasserikkara-Pampa and Erumely-Pampa routes.