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Sabarimala temple reopens today, devotees allowed from Sunday amid Covid curbs

After the Usha Puja rituals on Sunday, the draw of lots to select the next chief priest of the Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples will be held. Devotees will be allowed entry into the temple starting Sunday morning till the night of October 21.

The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple will reopen Saturday evening for a period of six days in the Malayalam month of Thulam.

The doors of the sanctum sanctorum will be opened at 5 pm by chief priest VK Jayaraj Potty. Devotees will be allowed entry into the temple starting Sunday morning till the night of October 21, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, said.

Only those who have completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccination or have a negative RT-PCR report obtained within 72 hours will be allowed entry through the state police’s virtual queue system. The objective behind the move is to control crowds in the backdrop of Kerala continuing to report over 7,000 cases a day.

After the Usha Puja rituals on Sunday, the draw of lots to select the next chief priest of the Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples will be held. They will hold tenure of one year. There are nine candidates on the shortlist for the post of Sabarimala chief priest.

The Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival at the temple will begin on November 15.

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