Kerala

Sabarimala temple opens for Thulamasapoojas

After a seven-month closure, the doors of the Sree Dharma Sastha temple opened for devotees in connection with the five-day-long monthly rituals at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Melsanthi A.K. Sudheer Namboodiri led the proceedings under supervision of the Sabarimala Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru. This was followed by the opening of the upadevata temples at Sannidhanam and lighting of the aazhi near the 18 holy steps.

B.S. Thirumeni, commissioner of the Travancore Devaswom Board, members N. Vijayakumar and K.S. Ravi were also present on the occasion. As there were no special rituals on the opening day, the temple was closed for the day after the harivarasanam rendition by 7.30 p.m.

It will reopen at 5 a.m. on Saturday for Nirmalya Darsan. After the Ushapooja at 7.30 a.m, the selection of the new melsanthis through drawing of lots will be held at 8 a.m. The selection proceedings will take place in the presence of TDB president N. Vasu, Sabarimala special commissioner M. Manoj, the High Court-appointed observer, and others.

As many as nine applicants have been shortlisted for the Sabarimala Melsanthi post where the final list of candidates for the melsanthi at the Malikappuram temple consists of 10 names. The new melsanthis, to be appointed for a year, will take charge on the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrischikam, when the annual pilgrim season begins this year.

According to the TDB, the pilgrims will be permitted darshan at the temple between October 17 and 21 in strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol. Only devotees registered on the virtual queue portal will be allowed and a maximum of 250 will be permitted in a day. All pilgrims will have to carry COVID-19 negative certificates obtained just 48 hours before reaching Pampa.

In view of the temple’s opening for the Thulamasa poojas, District Collector P.B. Noohu granted permission for single-lane traffic through the damaged portion of the road leading to Pampa till October 24. The Collector has entrusted the police to ensure traffic regulations at Planthodu, where the road sustained major damages, besides directing the Public Works Department to inspect the stretch on a regular basis.

After the Thulamasa rituals, the temple will reopen for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival at 5 p.m. on November 15 and close its doors on January 14.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 1:07:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sabarimala-temple-opens-for-thulamasapoojas/article32874463.ece

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