P.N. Narayanan Namboodiri of Panangattumpalli Mana at Thrikkariyoor in Ernakulam district was installed as the new Melsanthi (head priest) of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple at a ceremony held at the temple Sopanam on Friday evening.
Tantri (chief priest) Kantararu Maheswararu, assisted by the outgoing Melsanthi N. Damodaran Potti, performed Kalasabhishekom on the Melsanthi-designate by pouring holy water over him. The tantri led him to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and uttered the Moolamantra of the presiding deity thrice in his ear before installing him as the head priest of the temple for the next one-year period.
P.M. Manoj of Polpakkara Madhom at Edappal was installed as the new Melsanthi of the Malikappuram Devi temple at another ceremony held at Malikappuram, later.
M.P. Govindan Nair, Travancore Devaswom Board president; Subhash Vasu, member; P. Venugopal, Devaswom Commissioner; K. Babu, Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court; A. Hemachandran, Additional Director General of Police, and K. Ravikumar, TDB Chief Engineer, were among those who attended the ceremonies.
The outgoing Melsanthi closed the sanctum sanctorum after singing the sacred lullaby ‘Harivarasanam viswa mohanam...’ later in the evening.
Both the new head priests would start discharging their duties from Saturday morning, the first day in the Malayalam month of Vrischikom.