Sabarimala: Ahead of the pilgrim season set to
start in mid-November, Balamurali Namboodiri of Edamana Illam
was today selected as the `melsanthi` (head priest) of the
Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.
T K Eswaran Namboodiri of Attukal was selected as the head
priest of the adjoining Malikappuram Devi temple.
Both the priests would continue for one year after taking
over on November 16, when the two-month long pilgrim season
of the hillshrine begins.
The priests, who will have to stay at the hillshrine for
the entire year, were chosen by drawing lot from a list of
candidates shortlisted by the Travancore Deveswom Board (TDB).
The list was prepared by interviewing the applicants by TDB
in the presence of scholars including the traditional high
priest of the temple.
Additional Chief Secretary and Sabarimala co-ordinator
K Jayakumar, TDB president M Rajagopalan Nair and high priest
Kantararu Maheswaru were among those present for the selection
Over 30 million devotees visit the shrine a year during the
pilgrimage season that will last till mid-January.