Thiruvananthapuram: N Parameshwaran Namboothiri of Kaliykkal Madam at Mavelikkara has been selected as the next Melsanthi (chief priest) of the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple for a period of one year starting from November 16, when the annual Mandala Puja season commences.
The selection of the chief priest was through a draw of lots held at the temple sopanam on Sunday morning, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) said.
Shambhu Namboothiri of Kuravakkad Illam has been selected as the chief priest of the adjoining Malikappuram Devi temple.
The selections were made by drawing lots from a panel of priests shortlisted after interviews conducted by the TDB, which manages the hill shrine.
TDB said the lots were drawn at 8 AM by the youngest member of the Pandalam royal family, Govind Varma.
Meanwhile, in the wake of heavy rains, district Collector Divya S Iyer has announced a ban on pilgrimage on Sunday and Monday in view of possible dangers in the forest areas including Sabarimala and Pamba region.