The forces that make Sabarimala a centre of controversy were none other than the people who belonged to the Hindu dharma and those who depended on the temples for their livelihood, said Mr M.Rajagopalan Nair, Travancore Devaswom Board president.

The TDB chief was inaugurating the Ayyappa Bhakta Sammelan held as part of the 66th Hindu religious meet, organised by the Travancore Hindu Dharma Parishad, on the sandbed of river Pampa at Ranni on Wednesday evening.

Mr Nair said he never suspected role for people or organisations attached to any other religious faith behind the controversies centred around Sabarimala.

The TDB chief said the avoidable controversy that has been propped up during the Makaravilakku festival in January too should be viewed in this perspective.

A high-level team led by the TDB chief will be visiting Hyderabad on February 28 and 29 to discuss with the Andhra Pradesh Government on the basic infra-structure facility to be set up by the AP Government at the Nilackal base camp.

Mr Nair said TDB would provide five acres of land each to the Governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to set up their own pilgrim amenity centre at the Nilackal base camp.

V.K. Viswanathan, State Dharmic Jajaran president, presided the inaugural function. D. Vijayakumar, Akhila Bharatha Ayyapa Seva Sanghom national vice-president, delivered the keynote address.

Swami Satchidananda Sarasawati of Chalakkudy Gayatri Ashram, K. Haridas, Thiruvabharnam Path Protection Committee chairman and T.K. Rajappan, parishad secretary, also spoke.

The week-long religious meet will come to a close on Sunday.