For the past few days the authorities concerned with the pilgrimage at the famed Sabarimala temple were caught unawares on account of the huge turnout, but the revenue generated appears to have fallen as compared to the previous season.
The Travancore Devaswom Board — the body that runs the temple — on Friday pointed out that in the 28 days (starting November 17th till date) of the present season the total revenue that has been generated by way of offerings and sale of ‘appam’ and ‘payasam’ was Rs 134.44 crore compared to the 28-day period in 2022, which was Rs 154.77 crore.
Incidentally, early this week, there was a huge hue and cry as pilgrims had to wait for around 20 hours to get the ‘darshan’, which in the past was around 5 to 6 hours.
On these days there were around 75,000 pilgrims every day and also the roads leading to the temple town witnessed massive traffic snarls.
Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 meters above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is four kms uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 kms from the capital city.
The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.
Every pilgrim carries with him a kit — ‘lrumudi’, which contains coconuts that are broken just before climbing the 18 steps. A pilgrim carries ‘lrumudi’ on his head during the pilgrimage and without it, none is allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.
The first phase of the present two-month long season that began on November 17 ends on December 27 and reopens again on December 30 for the second phase.