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New chief priest for Sabarimala

india Updated: Oct 17, 2009 13:41 IST

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G Vishnu Namboodiri was on Satuday selected as the 'melsanthi' (chief priest) of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, where the two-month long pilgrim session is to begin in mid-November.

Namboodiri was selected as the 'melsanthi' of Malikappuram Devi temple attached to the hill shrine complex, temple officials said on Satuday.

The selections were made by drawing lots from panels of shortlisted candidates.

The tenure of chief priests is for a year from November 16, when they take charge.

The Mandala pooja season of the temple will commence from November 16, to be followed by 'Makaravilakku' pilgrimage culminating on the Makarasakranthi pooja in mid-January.

Last year, over three crore pilgrims from different parts of the country visited the hill shrine.