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Kandararu Rajeevaru of the Thazhamon family took over as the Tantri or the traditional high priest of the Sabarimala temple on the New Year day of the Malayalam calendar on Thursday. Kandararu Rajeevaru would officiate as the high priest of the temple.
Tantri (High Priest) of a temple plays a key role in the affairs of any temple. The portfolio of `Mel Tantri' of Sabarimala temple is the hereditary privilege of the male members of Tazhamon Madom, Chengannur, Kerala. They ensure that the rituals and poojas at Sabarimala are conducted in accordance with established religious practices and various special norms as applicable to the Sabarimala temple. The Tantri initiates the newly appointed Mel Santhi into the rituals of the temple. He recites the `Moola Mantram' to the Mel Santhi. He constantly guides and supervises the Mel Santhi during the conduct of all poojas and other rituals. Certain rituals like Padi Pooja, Udayasthamana Pooja and Kalasa Poojas cannot be conducted unless the Tantri is present during the ceremony. The installation of idols at these temples was also performed by Thazhamon priests and this gives them a paternal status vis-a-vis the respective temple. "The tantri turns a statue into God", points out Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru of Thazhamon.
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