In Kerala, Mandala pooja pilgrimage started in the famous hill shrine of Sabarimala. The new chief priest opened the sanctum sanctorum today early morning to mark the beginning of Mandala pooja pilgrimage season. The two month yearly pilgrimage season was started in the hill shrine of Sabarimala today. Thousands of Ayyappa devotees were waiting at Sabarimala from yesterday onwards for darsan.

The temple was opened yesterday evening and ceremonial installation of the new chief priest was held there after. The first leg of the pilgrimage season will be culminated with Mandala pooja on December 27th. The Lord Ayyappa Temple will be opened again for Makaravilakku festival on December 30th. Makara Vilakku will be held on January 15th next year.