Sabarimala temple may open for more days

A file photo of devotees waiting outside the Sabarimala temple.   | Photo Credit: AP

The government will explore the possibility of keeping the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala open for more days or round the year, against the backdrop of the Supreme Court order permitting entry for women of all age groups to Sabarimala, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has said.

With the court order, the pilgrim flow to Sabarimala was expected to increase considerably, he told The Hindu. The Travancore Devaswom Board expects the influx to increase by 30% to 40% from the ensuing annual pilgrim season. A large number of woman are expected to visit the forest shrine.

Space constraint

The Minister said space was a constraint for the TDB in augmenting pilgrim amenities. Sabarimala, a part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, requires clearance from the Union government for utilising more forestland to augment the basic pilgrim amenities.

The government would strive to ensure the well-being of all devotees visiting Sabarimala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had suggested to the TDB, earlier, to explore the possibility of keeping the temple open throughout the year, he said.

He said the government has given top priority for improved pilgrim facilities at the Nilackal base camp. It would also explore the possibility of setting up a Tirupati-model Devasthanom (administrative body) for Sabarimala. Any development venture in Sabarimala would be initiated only after consultations with all stakeholders.

A committee chaired by former Chief Secretary V.Ramachandran and another committee chaired by jurist Chandrashekhara Menon have recommended an independent administrative body for Sabarimala.

He said the government was only for eco-friendly constructions at Sabarimala and Pampa.

Unwanted construction should be avoided at Sabarimala in the larger interests of preserving the serenity of the hill shrine, Mr. Surendran said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 3:11:00 AM |

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