Friday 22 February 2019
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Sabarimala reopens for monthly pujas amid heavy security

The Lord Ayyappa temple here re-opened on Tuesday for five-day monthly pujas under a heavy security blanket as hundreds of police personnel were deployed in and around the hill shrine in view of possible protest from right-wing activists, opposing entry of young women. Despite security arrangements, a large number of devotees, including those from neighbouring states, turned up to offer prayers when the shrine was opened at 5 pm. Chief priest Vasudevan Nampoothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum in the presence of tantri (head priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru. There would be no specific pujas on Tuesday and the shrine would be closed at 10 pm with the rendition of harivarasanam , the customary lullaby for Lord Ayyappa, temple authorities said. The temple would remain open for five days till February 17 for the monthly pujas during the Malayalam month of Kumbam, temple authorities said. Several special rituals including kalabhabhishekam , sahasrakalasam and laksharchana would be ...

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