Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala opened at 5.30 p.m. on Sunday for the 10-day annual festival that begins on Monday.

Temple Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru, assisted by Melshanti (chief priest) N. Vishnu Namboodiri, performed the preparatory rituals. The festival flag will be hoisted between 9.30 a.m. and 10.50 a.m. by the Tantri.

The ‘utsavabali’ and ‘sreebhoothabali’ will be performed in the afternoon from March 31 to April 7. The ‘vilakkinezhunnallathu’ procession will be held on all evenings from April 2 to 7. The ‘pallivetta’ ritual, on the eve of the ‘arat,’ will be held at Saramkuthi on April 7 midnight.

The ‘arat’ ceremony will be held on April 8.