Temple to open at 3 a.m. for darshan
The Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala continued to witness heavy rush for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) extended the duration of holy ‘darshan’ by two hours on Monday and Tuesday owing to the unprecedented rush in the past 48 hours. The opening of the sanctum sanctorum in the morning was advanced to 3 a.m. from 4 a.m. and to 3 p.m. from 4 p.m., thereby facilitating darshan to more pilgrims.
The pilgrims had to wait for hours inside the long-winding barricades to reach the temple premises. The TDB supplied biscuits and medicated drinking water to the pilgrims in the queue.
TDB Executive Officer V.S. Jayakumar said the revenue collection at Sabarimala in the past 22 days (as on Monday) had crossed Rs.77.25 crore, an increase of 25 per cent compared to the figure the previous year.
The collection by way of Aravana and Appam sale, and Hundi collection in the past 22 days was Rs.31.33 crore; Rs.5.75 crore; and Rs.27.65 crore respectively, he said.
The speed limit of tractors plying between Pampa and Sannidhanam had been reduced to 5 km per hour in view of the heavy pilgrim influx. TDB would ask the Kerala State Electricity Board to extend the power lines from Cheriyanavattom to Valiyanavattom due to the increasing pilgrim inflow to Sabarimala, via the Erumely-Azhutha traditional path, he said.