Sabarimala, Aug 21 (PTI) Special prayers were held on Friday at the famous Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple here for the well-being of veteran playback singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, who is critical and on lifesupport battling COVID-19 at a hospital in Chennai.

Special "usha pooja" was at the temple on behalf ofBalasubrahmanyam, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) said in a release.

"A musical offering was held at the temple using nadaswaram (wind instrument), thakil (percussion instrument) and Idaykka (a drum) played by TDB employees Ganesh Thiruvarppu, Sugunan and Yadukrishnan respectively.

The musiciansplayed 'Shankara nada sareera' , a hit song sung byBalasubrahmanyam," TDB said.

The hilltop shrine was opened on Sunday for the monthly five day poojas for the Malayalam month of Chingam which began on August 17.

The temple will close today and devotees were not allowed following the COVID-19 protocol.

MGM Healthcare, where 74-year old Balasubrahmanyam is being treated, said on Thursday that he "continues to be critical on ventilator and ECMO support in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

The popular singer, admitted to the hospital on August 5 after he tested positive for coronavirus, was put on the ECMO support, a heart-lung assistance machine, on Wednesday, nearly a week after he suffered a setback in his health.