The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has extended the darshan time at Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala from Saturday in view of the increase in the number of pilgrims visiting the hillock .

In a statement here on Friday, Sabarimala Devaswom Executive Officer K. Sankaranarayana Pillai said that as per the revised schedule, the temple would be opened at 3 a.m. from Saturday and close after Utchapuja at 1.30 p.m.

The temple would reopen at 3 p.m. and close after Athazhapuja at 11.30 p.m., the statement said.

Crowd control

Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram: The State government will set up a system at Nilackal for regulating the flow of pilgrims to witness Makaravilakku, Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said.

Briefing presspersons about the decision of a high-level meeting held at the behest of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Thursday for reviewing the arrangements for crowd control in Sabarimala during Makaravilakku, Mr. Sivakumar said the Travancore Devaswom Board would provide light refreshments to the pilgrims who had to wait at Nilackal for moving to the Sannidhanam. Pilgrims from Nilackal would be permitted to the Sannidhanam only when the crowd became manageable there and at Pampa.

He said the police would be posted at Pampa under the leadership of an Inspector General of Police. A team headed by a Superintendent of Police would be posted at Nilackal and if needed, another team would be posted at Plappally.