N Damodaran Potti from Vaikom was on Wednesday appointed as 'Melsanthi' (chief priest) of Sabarimala Ayyappa temple for one year from the coming Mandala Pooja season starting from mid-November.
Unnikrishnan Namboodiri from Kothamangalam was selected as chief priest for the adjoining Malikappuram Devi temple.
The selections were made by drawing lots from a panel of nine priests shortlisted after interviews conducted by the Travancore Deveswom Board (TDB), the body that manages the hillshrine.
They will take over as chief priests on November 16, on the eve of the 41-day Mandala season starting from the month of Vrishchikam of Malayalam calendar, a TDB spokesman said.
As per the temple tradition, the would have to stay in the Sabari hill for till their term is over.
The lots were drawn by two children, who came to worship at the temple which opened today for the poojas on the first day of the month of Thulam of Malayalam calendar.
Chief commissioner for Sabarimala K Jayakumar and senior officials of TDB were present on the occasion,a board spokesman said.