The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the High Power Committee (HPC) on Sabarimala Master Plan are all set to launch four major pilgrim amenity projects as part of the Sabarimala Master Plan at the holy hillock of Sannidhanam on Monday.

The TDB president, M.P.Govindan Nair, will lay the foundation stone for the proposed two-storey modern Annadana Mandapam at the Sannidhanam on Monday forenoon. The senior Tantri (chief priest), Kandararu Maheswararu, will perform the auspicious Bhumipuja on the occasion.

K.Jayakumar, chairman of the High Power Committee for implementation of the Master Plan will preside over the function. Subhash Vasu, P.K.Kumaran, TDB members, and P.Venugopal, Devaswom Commissioner, will also address the function.

Projects

A fly-over linking Malikappuram with the TDB Annadanam hall, construction of a coconut breaking area and remodelling of the Lower Tirumuttom are the other projects to be launched at the Sannidhanam as part of the master plan.

Mr Vasu told The Hindu that the ground floor of the Annadana Mandapam will be completed by October last and its first floor in the next six months.

He said the other three projects would be completed well before the beginning of the forthcoming Mandalam-Makaravilaku pilgrim season itself.

Sponsorship

Mr Venugopal said the neither the TDB nor the HPC have to pay a single rupee on the Annadana Mandapam or the other projects.

Sunil Swami and Ashok Swami of the Sabari Group of companies and S.Sudarshan Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajom will be sponsoring the two Annadana Mandapams at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore each, said Mr Venugopal.

Mr Vasu said HPC should pursue the project proposal to construct a two-storey Valiya Nadappanthal at the Sannidhanam on a priority basis. He said the committee has already finalised its design and detailed project report, earlier.

Heavy rush

The holy hillock continued to witness heavy rush on Sunday.

Hundreds of pilgrims from different parts of South India undertook the pilgrimage to the forest shrine, braving heavy downpour in the forests.

A Kalabhabhishekom, Sahasrakalasabhishekom, Pushpabhishekom, and Udayasthamanapuja were the special rituals performed at the Ayyappa Temple on Sunday.

The temple will be closed after the Athazhapuja on Wednesday evening, marking the culmination of the five-day monthly rituals in the first Malayalam month of Chingom.

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