Kerala

Devotees throng Sabarimala temple

Pilgrims climb down the Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path after the holy darshan at the Lord Ayyapa Temple at Sabarimala on Thursday. Photo: Leju Kamal

Pilgrims climb down the Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path after the holy darshan at the Lord Ayyapa Temple at Sabarimala on Thursday. Photo: Leju Kamal  

more-in

Ayyappa temple closes after monthly pujas on Friday

The Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala witnessed heavy rush on Thursday as hundreds of devotees from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and different parts of Kerala undertook pilgrimage to the temple on the fourth day of the five-day monthly puja in the Malayalam month of Karkidakom.

Pilgrims, including elderly women and children, climbed the steep Neelimala and Appachimedu hills on the Pampa-Sannidhanam path, braving the intermittent rain.

Drinking water

Many pilgrims complained about the absence of drinking water supply counters between Pampa and Appachimedu. The drinking water counter opened by the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom at Appachimedu was the lone solace to the pilgrims.

“The temple administration could have, at least, allowed various devotees organisations in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to supply food and drinking water to the devotees,” said Venkatesh Ramakrishna, a company executive from Coimbatore.

He said many Ayyappa devotees’ groups in Tamil Nadu were willing to provide free food to Sabarimala, provided the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) showed an encouraging note in this regard.

“How could the TDB permit devotees to provide free food and drinking water at Sabarimala when some in the temple administration are hand-in-glove with the hotel and other business lobby at Sabarimala who have been fleecing the pilgrims with the silent blessings of the authorities concerned,” said Parameswaran, a middle-aged devotee from North Paravur.

The board authorities had even denied permission to certain religious trusts in Tamil Nadu for continuing the Annadanam they have been carrying out at Sabarimala Sannidhanam for the past few years.

“What hinders the TDB and the government from making appropriate arrangements for free supply of quality food and beverages to the pilgrims, when various religious trusts and devotees’ groups having good track record in the field are willing to extend their service to Sabarimala, still remains a mystery,” said another devotee from Chennai.

Pet bottles were found heaped at different points in the forests on either side of the trekking path. The newly constructed queue complex at Sabaripeedhom too was found littered.

The Ayyappa temple will be closed after Athazhapuja on Friday evening, marking the culmination of the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Karkidakom.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 2:29:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/devotees-throng-sabarimala-temple/article3658648.ece

Next Story