Press Esc to close

Sabarimala pilgrimage season begins amid hiccups

Sabarimala (Kerala), Nov 20, 2012 (IANS) 14:19 IST
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

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli with his actress wife Anushka Sharma during their wedding...

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli with his actress wife Anushka Sharma during their wedding...

Former footballer of Argentina Diego Maradona with his wife after being felicitated at a programme..

Former footballer of Argentina Diego Maradona with his wife after being felicitated at a programme..

An Afghani lady cadet at practice session for small arms at Officers Training Academy (OTA)...

An Afghani lady cadet at practice session for small arms at Officers Training Academy (OTA)...

Congress party workers display signboards pasted with the pictures of Jawahar Lal Nehru...

Congress party workers display signboards pasted with the pictures of Jawahar Lal Nehru...

Artists making a 75 M-long live watercolor painting for a world record at Central Park...

Artists making a 75 M-long live watercolor painting for a world record at Central Park...

Patidar community leader Hardik Patel waves at supporters during a road show for the second phase...

Patidar community leader Hardik Patel waves at supporters during a road show for the second phase...

Activists of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) forming a human chain while staging a protest...

Activists of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) forming a human chain while staging a protest...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi offering prayers at Shamlaji Temple in Aravali district...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi offering prayers at Shamlaji Temple in Aravali district...

Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov calls on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan...

Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov calls on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan...

WWE wrestler Dalip Singh Rana or Great Khali calling on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh.

WWE wrestler Dalip Singh Rana or Great Khali calling on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh.

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.