Press Esc to close
Saturday 20 December 2014
News updated at 9:40 PM IST
Weather
Max: 24°C
Min : 18.2°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Sabarimala pilgrimage season begins amid hiccups

Sabarimala (Kerala), Nov 20, 2012 (IANS)

Five days after the Sabarimala pilgrimage season opened, some unsavoury reports about prasadam and fleecing of pilgrims have come in, but administrators say it is just media sensationalism.

As one climbs the hill from the base point at Pamba to reach the temple atop, traditional crackers being burst is the first point of fleecing pilgrims.
A Rs.5 fire cracker is being sold for Rs.10 to pilgrims.

At the temple atop the hill, besides snatching a glimpse of Lord Ayyapan, the ruling deity, and paying him obeisance, the next important duty for all pilgrims is to collect the famed prasadam, consisting of 'appam' and 'aravana' (a pasty liquid which tastes similar to payasam).

A group of pilgrims from Thrissur was surprised to find the prasadam at the Ayyapan temple was infected with fungus.

In another incident, police seized bottled drinking water Monday that was past its expiry date.

"We have found that people bursting crackers are overcharging. Hence we have displayed a board that one cracker is for Rs.5 only," said an official appointed to oversee the functioning of the pilgrimage.

A Bailey bridge built by the Madras Engineer Group (MEG) of the army on the diversion road linking Sannidhanam with Chandranandan Road, at a cost of Rs.90 lakh for pilgrims in the last season appears to be deserted.

The temple is run by the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) and is a major source of revenue.

The aggregate revenue earned at Sabarimala in the 2011-2012 pilgrimage season was Rs.174.20 crore, up from Rs.153 crore the preceding season.

Speaking to IANS, TDB commissioner N. Vasu said the media was blowing things out of proportion.

"The bridge is kept for crowd control and today there is no need for sending pilgrims on their return journey (on it). As and when the crowd becomes voluminous, we will do that," said Vasu.

He denied that water bottles past their "use before" dates were being supplied.
"We have given a contract for water to two companies and such a thing can never ever happen. Maybe bottles that were confiscated belonged to other companies who were selling them illegally. We are preparing appam for thousands of people. If anything is of poor quality, we immediately withdraw it," added Vasu.

The pilgrimage season opened Friday and would continue till Jan 15, the first day of the Malayalam month, with a break for a few days in December.

Situated in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is four km uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district.

It is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrim centres in the whole of India.
The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Christmas tree ornaments are displayed for customers at the Christmas ...

Christmas tree ornaments are displayed for customers at the Christmas ...

A cyclist takes a ride along the bike path off Truxtun Extension...

A cyclist takes a ride along the bike path off Truxtun Extension...

A participant during the Kambala, a traditional buffalo race...

A participant during the Kambala, a traditional buffalo race...

A large gathering at Virat Hindu Sammelan, organised by VHP...

A large gathering at Virat Hindu Sammelan, organised by VHP...

India's Ishant Sharma, center, celebrates with his teammates after he got the wicket...

India's Ishant Sharma, center, celebrates with his teammates after he got the wicket...

India's Umesh Yadav plays a shot during their play on day four of the second cricket test...

India's Umesh Yadav plays a shot during their play on day four of the second cricket test...

Australia's David Warner dives over the boundary rope trying to take a catch during their ...

Australia's David Warner dives over the boundary rope trying to take a catch during their ...

Indian American Richard Verma sworn-in as US Ambassador to India

Indian American Richard Verma sworn-in as US Ambassador to India

People takes protection against cold with woollens...

People takes protection against cold with woollens...

helicopter following a crash during the men's World Cup Downhill skiing...

helicopter following a crash during the men's World Cup Downhill skiing...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523