The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala will open on Thursday for the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Kanni. Melsanthi G. Vishnu Nambodiri will open the sanctum sanctorum at 5.30 p.m.

There will not be any puja on Thursday. The temple will be open for ‘darshan' till 10 p.m.

Rituals will begin with Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru performing the Ashtadravya Ganapati homom on Friday. Kalabhabhishekom will be performed prior to the Utchapuja on all five days from September 17. Sahasrakalasabhishekom will be performed on September 18 and 19. Padipuja, Ashtabhishekom, Udayasthamanapuja and Pushpabhishekom will be held on all the five days. The temple will be closed after the Athazhapuja on September 21.

Melsanthi selection

Devaswom Commissioner P.V. Nalinakshan Nair said the personal interview of all eligible applicants for the post of ‘melsanthi' at the Lord Ayyappa Temple and the Malikappuram Devi Temple will be held at the Board headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram on October 6 and 7. Nine priests would be shortlisted. The final selection will be through a draw-of-lots at Sabarimala on October 18.