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Sasi Namboodiri is Sabarimala Melsanthi

Staff Reporter

Dhananjayan Namboodiri is Malikappuram Melsanthi



At the helm:Clockwise from top: Draw of lots under way to select the Melsanthi at Sabarimala on Monday; Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri, the new Sabarimala Melsanthi, and Dhananjayan Namboodiri, the Malikappuram Melsanthi.



At the helm:Clockwise from top: Draw of lots under way to select the Melsanthi at Sabarimala on Monday; Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri, the new Sabarimala Melsanthi, and Dhananjayan Namboodiri, the Malikappuram Melsanthi.



At the helm:Clockwise from top: Draw of lots under way to select the Melsanthi at Sabarimala on Monday; Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri, the new Sabarimala Melsanthi, and Dhananjayan Namboodiri, the Malikappuram Melsanthi.

PATHANAMTHITTA: Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri of Paingulam Mana, near Cheruthuruthy, in Thrissur district is the new head priest (Melsanthi) of Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala.

He was selected through a draw of lots held at the temple sopanam at the Sannidhanam on Monday.

In another draw of lots held at Malikappuram, Dhananjayan Namboodiri of Mangalasserry Illom at Vallikunnam-Kaduvinal, near Mavelikara, in Alappuzha district was selected Melsanthi of Malikappuram Devi Temple.

The newly selected priests will assume charge for the next one year on the first day in the Malayalam month of Vrischikom, which begins on November 17.

At present, Sasi Namboodiri is the priest at Pavakkulam Mahadevar Temple near Kaloor in Ernakulam.

The draw of lots to select the Sabarimala Melsanthi was held at 9.20 am. The lots were prepared by TDB authorities at the sopanam itself and the lots were drawn by two children, Abhinand (7) from Kannur and Atheeth Anand (5) from Kozhikode.

Malikappuram temple

The draw of lots to select the Malikappuram Melsanthi was held at the Devi temple sopanam. A nine-year-old girl, Lakshmi Balagopalan from Aluva, was picked from among the devotees to draw the lots.

Mr. Dhananjayan Namboodiri is at present serving as head priest at a temple attached to Travancore Devaswom Board at Karunagappally.

The newly selected Melsanthis will undergo 10-day training at the Tantri household of Thazhamon Madhom at Mundankavu near Chengannur to learn certain rituals at Sabarimala from senior Tantri (chief priest) Kandararu Maheswararu in November, TDB president M.Rajagopalan Nair said.

The installation ceremony of the Melsanthis will be held at the respective temple sopanam on the eve of Mandalam festival season on November 16.

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