Source: The Hindu
PATHANAMTHITTA, INDIA, November 15, 2001: The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple has been opened for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilaku pilgrim season. The holy hillock witnessed a heavy rush today when the temple was opened for the pilgrim season. The Tantri (head priest), Mr. Kantaru Mohanaru, said that the Neyyabhishekam ritual would begin tomorrow morning, the first day of the Malayalam month of Vruschikam. The Police department has set up about 50 police aid-posts at Pampa and surrounding areas and over 1,000 police personnel have been assigned to monitor the law and order situation at Sabarimala and to control the vehicular traffic. This year's annual temple festival at Sabarimala will be held from December 9 to 18. The Makaravilakku season begins on January 1, 2002 and the temple will be closed on January 20 after the two-month annual pilgrim season.