Sabarimala temple to be closed for 4 hours on Dec 26

Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala. (PTI Photo)

The Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, where the two-month-long annual pilgrim season is underway will remain closed for four hours on December 26 due to solar eclipse.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the apex temple body which manages the hill shrine, said here on Sunday the sanctum santorum would be closed between 7.30 a.m and 11.30 a.m on the day.

The solar eclipse is from 8.06 a.m to 11.13 a.m on December 26.

The temple would be closed after the customary daily rituals and poojas including 'Neyyabhishekam' and would be reopened after 'punyaham', the purification ritual post the eclipse, temple executive officer said here in a statement.

Sabarimala 'tantri' (head priest) Mahesh Mohanaru had informed the executive officer that the opening of the shrine during the eclipse hours was not appropriate, it said.

The other TDB-run temples including the Malikappuram and Pamba shrines would also be closed during the time of solar eclipse, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Sabarimala shrine, where the annual Mandalam Makaravilakku pilgrimage began on November 17, is witnessing heavy rush of devotees.

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