On 17 November 2018 Sabarimala Mandalam season 2018-2019 begins with special pujas. Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple will be opened on 17th November at 5 pm.
Mandala Puja is the most celebrated festival season in Sabarimala temple which ends on December 27, 2018 at 10 pm.
Temple will reopen on December 30 for Makaravilakku festival.
Lakhs of devotees visit Sabarimala Ayyappa temple during Mandala puja and Makaravilakku festival season.
Makaravilakku or Makarajyoti festival date in 2019 is January 14.
The annual two-month long pilgrimage season at the Lord Ayyappa temple here will begin on the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrischikam, that is, on November 17.
The thirunada will be opened for darshan on 17th November 2018 evening @ 5 pm for the Mandalam pilgrimage season. The present Melsanthi Sankaran namboodhri will open the thirunada at 5.00 pm. No ritual will be conducted .
Sri T.M.Unnikrishnan Nampoodhiri will climb holy eighteen steps with irumudi.Later the ceremony of induction will take place.Thantri Kandararu Rajeevaru will conduct kalasabhishekam on the new melsanthi in front of the Sreekovil. After the kalsabhishekam, the thantri accompanied by the new melsanthi will go inside the thirunada and do the upadesam “moolamantram” of Lord Ayyappan in the ears of the new inducted melsanthi. The similiar sort of ceremony of installation ceremony of Puthumana Manu Namboothiri as the new Malikappuram melsanthi will take place in front of the Malikappuram devi around 7.30 pm by the thanthri Kandararu Rajeevaru.Lter in yhe night present melsanthis will close the thirunada after Harivarasanam.
The ceremony of the handing over of the key of the thirunada will be held around 11 pm. As part of the ceremony, present melsanthi S.E.Sankaran Nampoothiri will hand over the key after locking the of the thirunada to Sabarimala Devaswom administrative officer Sri.Ravi Shankar. Immediately after receiving the key, the administrative officer will hand over the key to new melsanthi brahmasree T.M.Unnikrishnan Namboothiri. The new melsanthi will officiate as melsanthi for a one-year tenure on the first day of the Mandapala Pooja on November 16. The new melsanthi, as an ongoing practice, will open the Sreekovil at 4 am on marking the beginning of the tenure.
Same sort of cermony will followed and Sri. Manukumar will be inducted as malligapuram melsanthi.
Later SE Sankaran Namboothiri and E S Unnikrishnan Namboothiri will climb down thru holy eighteen steps.