Thiruvananthapuram: The famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, worshipped by millions of devotees every year, will open for the two-month `Mandala-Makaravilakku` festival on Friday.
Festival poojas would start from November 16, the first day of the `Vrichikam` month of the Malayalam calendar, after the new head priest of the temple P N Narayanan Namboothri opens the sanctum sanctorum early in the morning.
The most important temple ritual the `ghee abhishekam` would start from that day.
The 42-day mandala festival would come to end on December 26 with the Mandala pooja. After a three-day recess, the temple would reopen on December 30 for Makaravilakku festival. The `Makaravilakku` falls on January 14.
The temple would be closed on January 20 morning, bringing an end to the two-month pilgrimage season.