The hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabrimala will open for four-day Onam festival poojas on Monday.
The Melshanthi (Chief priest) Vishnu Namboothiri would open the sanctum sanctorum on Monday evening, officials of the Travancore Devaswom Board which manages the temple, said in Thiruvananthapuram.
The customary Onamsadya (Onam feast) to lord Ayyappa would be offered on September 1 afternoon. Devotees gathered at the temple would also be given the feast that day, sources said.
A special ritual 'Sahasrakalasa' would be performed on Thiruvonam day on September 2. The 'Udayasthamana' pooja and Padi pooja (pooja on the holly 11 steps) also would be held.
The temple would be closed on September 4 evening, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Devaswom Minister Kadanappally Ramachandran said better amenities would be provided to Ayappa pilgrims during the coming Mandala-Makaravilaku festival season.
He told reporters at Kollam yesterday that nearly three lakh pilgrims had visited the temple last year and that the number was expected to go up this year.