Travancore Devaswom Board has decided to allow maximum number of 86,000 devotees in the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.
The two-months long annual pilgrimage season will commence from November 16 and conclude on January 20. The booking for darshan started on November one.
If Covid-19 cases decrease, more devotees will be allowed to visit the temple. But only those who booked through online will be allowed to visit the temple, TDB president N Vasu said.
After closing the temple in the night, the present chief priest (melsanthi) A K Sudheer Namboothiri and Malikappuram chief priest M S Parameshwaram Namboothiri will relinquish the post.
On Monday, the first day of Malayalam month of Vrichikam, the new melsanthis will open the temple.
Meanwhile, Pandalam Kottaram will not be kept open this year for the Thiruvabharana darshan ritual due to the prevailing Covid situation. (Agency)