E.N. Krishnadas Namboodiri, 42, of Ezhikode Mana at Panjal in Thrissur district has been selected the next head priest (Melsanthi) at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala for the next one-year period beginning November 17, the first day in the Malayalam month of Vrischikom.
S. Kesavan Namboodiri, 47, of Cheruthala Madhom at Mavelikara in Alappuzha district has been selected the new Melsanthi at the Malikappuram Devi temple.
The selection of the new head priests was made through draw of lots held at the respective temple Sopanams after the Ushapuja on Saturday. Two children nominated by the Pandalam Palace, Saurav Varma and Poornasree Varma, drew the lots. Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court K. Babu supervised the proceedings.
Mr. Krishnadas Namboodiri, a former Melsanthi of the Guruvayur Sreekrishna temple, is at present the head priest at the Pavakkulam Mahadevar temple at Kaloor in Ernakulam. Mr. Kesavan Namboodiri, a former head priest at the Chettikulangara Bhagavathy temple, is at present the Melsanthi at the Thattarambalam Devi temple near Mavelikara.
The installation of both the new head priests will be held at the respective temple Sopanams on the eve of the 41-day Mandalam pilgrim season, November 16.