Press Esc to close
Monday 30 March 2015
News updated at 2:17 AM IST
Weather
Max: 33.9°C
Min : 20.1°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

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
A boy jumps from a raft into the Sabarmati river to cool off on a hot day...

A boy jumps from a raft into the Sabarmati river to cool off on a hot day...

Christian devotees during a procession as they celebrate 'Palm Sunday' in Bhopal on Sunday...

Christian devotees during a procession as they celebrate 'Palm Sunday' in Bhopal on Sunday...

Goats fighting on compound wall in Bengaluru on Sunday...

Goats fighting on compound wall in Bengaluru on Sunday...

A salvaged bank partially under water at Badshah Chowk after the city received rainfall in Srinagar.

A salvaged bank partially under water at Badshah Chowk after the city received rainfall in Srinagar.

Femina Miss India World 2015...

Femina Miss India World 2015...

Eunuch dance at a procession during All India Eunuch Conference in Beawar...

Eunuch dance at a procession during All India Eunuch Conference in Beawar...

A man pulls his camel as he sits in an auto rickshaw during a dust storm in Ahmedabad...

A man pulls his camel as he sits in an auto rickshaw during a dust storm in Ahmedabad...

New Zealand players congratulate the Australian team following their seven wicket win...

New Zealand players congratulate the Australian team following their seven wicket win...

Australian captain Michael Clarke celebrates  seven wicket victory over New Zealand...

Australian captain Michael Clarke celebrates seven wicket victory over New Zealand...

Australia's captain Michael Clarke holds the Cricket World Cup trophy after they defeated...

Australia's captain Michael Clarke holds the Cricket World Cup trophy after they defeated...

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