Sabarimala pilgrimage commences tomorrow

Priests decorate the steps of Lord Ayyappa Temple as part of the Padipuja at Sabarimala in Kerala on Saturday. PTI

The health department has made arrangements for the devotees at the foothills and enroute to the temple top, including increasing the number of ‘oxygen parlours’. The Railways  will operate more coaches while the state government will run more buses.

More than 5,000 officials, including around 3,000 policemen, will be deployed in the temple town in Pathanamthitta district to oversee the administration of the festival season.
Additional chief secretary and head of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) K Jayakumar said that all arrangements had been made for the new pilgrimage season.

Dhanalakshmi Bank has introduced a wide range of unique banking services to cater to the requirements of Sabarimala pilgrims in the season beginning this month.

Bank General Manager P G Jayakumar and General Manager (HR) Manish Kumar said the bank’s 250 branches spread across the country had already started distributing coupons for ‘aravana’ and other ‘prasadams’.

The bank has opened 24 counters for rendering quick service to the devotees who reach the ‘Sannidhanam’ with the ‘prasadam’ coupons. It would also open additional counters for the exclusive distribution of ‘modakam’, another famous ‘prasadam’, at Pampa.

The bank’s coupon system will bring relief to the devotees by eliminating long and serpentine queues. The officials said that the bank will also open temporary business transaction centres at Erumeli and Nilakkal in addition to the bank’s regular branch at Pampa.

The bank will also maintain an offsite ATM at Sabarimala and an onsite ATM at Pampa branch. Dhanalakshmi Bank has also come up with an accident insurance cover for the pilgrims at a nominal cost of Rs 50 per person. This will provide death cover to the tune of Rs 1 lakh and an accident benefit of Rs 25,000.

The bank has been extending its services to the Travancore Devaswom Board, its 1,208 temples and Sabarimala pilgrims for over three decades. 

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