New head priests for Sabarimala, Malikappuram temples selected
Sabarimala: The draw of lots to select the head priests of Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples was held at Sannidhanam on Saturday morning. A K Sudheer Namboothiri has been appointed as the new head priest (melshanthi) of Sabarimala and M. S. Parameshwaran Namboothiri will be the new head priest of Malikapuram Devi temple for the next one year.
A. K. Sudheer Namboothiri belongs to Tirur Thirunavaya Areekkara Mana. He has served as the head priest of Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple and has served as priest in major temples in Malabar. M. S. Parameshwaran Namboothiri belongs to Aluva Parakkadavu Madavana Mana.
The names of nine candidates who passed the interview held on August 8 and 9 were included in the draw of lots. Children of Panthalam palace, Madhav K. Varma and Kanchana K. Varma took the lots. The boy picked the lot to select the chief priest of Sabarimala temple and the girl took the lot for choosing Malikappuram temple.
The lots containing the names of all nine candidates were placed in a silver pot. Eight blank lots and one lot written with the title of head priest were filled in another silver pot. The children picked one lot from each pot until they got a name and the lot containing the title together.
From this year onwards, the selected head priests will have to serve the entire month of ‘Kanni’ praying in the respective temples in order to learn the rituals and traditions from the present priests. The new head priests will be opening the temples on the first day of Vrishchikam month this year.
Sabarimala shrine was opened for the monthly rituals of Chingam on Friday evening at 5. The devotees can perfrom 'Neyyabhishekam' from Saturday to August 21 when the shrine will be closed.