October 17, 2017
Kottayam: AV Unnikrishnan Namboodiri of Mangalatthu Azhagathumana in Chalakkudy in Thrissur district has been selected chief priest of the Sabarimala hill shrine.
He will be in charge of all rituals in the shrine during the next one year from the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam.
The chief priest was selected at the sannidanam after the usha puja. Devaswom minister Kadakampallly Surendran and Travancore Dewaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan were present during the draw of lots. In all, there were 15 people in the race.
Aneesh Nambudiri of Varikkamillam in Mynagapally in Kollam will be the head priest of Maligapuram temple, the reigning deity of the goddess.
According to the myth the goddess visits the temple every year with the hope of getting wedded to Lord Ayyappa who is a brahmachari.The selection was done through drawing of lots from among 12 nominations. They were drawn by the members of the Pandalam Royal family as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
The mandala puja season is from 15 November to December 26, the last day being the mandala puja after which the temple will close. It will be opened on December 30 for the Makaravilakku festival and will close on on January 20, 2018.