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The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala has been opened for the Onam festival on Monday afternoon.

The head priest (Melsanthi), E.S. Sankaran Namboodiri, accompanied by the chief priest (Tantri), Kandararu Rajeevararu, and Devaswom officials, opened the sanctum sanctorum at 5 p.m. The temple rituals will begin only with the Ashtadravya Maha Ganapati ritual on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Tantri, assisted by the Melsanthi, has prepared the holy water (kalasom) in 1,000 copper urns and the Brahmakalasom in a golden urn for the Sahasrakalasabhishekom to be held prior to the Utchapuja on Saturday.

The other important rituals to be performed at the Ayyappa shrine on Tuesday are
Kalabhabhishekom, Ashtabhishekom, Udayasthamanapuja, Pushpabhishekom and
Padipuja
.

A sumptuous feast

The head priest will host the Uthradasadya , a feast served on the Uthradom day, to the Devaswom staff as well as devotees at the Sannidhanam after the Utchapuja on Tuesday.

The ‘Onasadya,’ sumptuous feast on the Thiruvonam day, at Sabarimala Sannidhanam will be hosted by Dr. Manikantadas, a devotee from Seethathode, at the Valiyanadappanthal immediately after the Utchapuja on Wednesday, the auspicious Thiruvonam day.

The Devaswom staff will offer a feast to the devotees at the
Sannidhanam on September 16.

Closing rituals

The Ayyappa Temple will be closed with the head priest singing the sacred lullaby, ‘
Harivarasanam, viswamohanam …’ after the Athazhapuja, marking the culmination of the Onam festival followed by the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Kanni, on September 21 evening.