Sabarimala spruced up as pilgrimage begins WednesdayBy IANS
Sunday, November 14, 2010
THIRUVANANANTHAPURAM - The Sabarimala temple in Kerala, one of the most revered religious centres of the country, is ready for the nearly two-month long pilgrimage season beginning Wednesday, a minister said Sunday.
“All arrangements are falling in place for a smooth pilgrimage, and a final review meeting under Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will take place tomorrow at Pamba,” Devaswom (temple administration) Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally said.
“There is an adequate stock of the famed Sabarimala aravana payasam and appom. Like in previous years, all the departments are working in close coordination to see that the pilgrimage is a smooth one,” he said.
“I have personally requested the railway ministry in Delhi to attach additional bogies in all long-distance trains for the benefit of the Sabarimala pilgrims . They have even agreed to run special trains,” added Kadannappally.
Called the ‘Mecca of Hindus’, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. It is situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 meters above sea level, four kilometers uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district of the state. The temple is accessible only by foot.
Even though the temple is open throughout the year, the peak two-month pilgrimage season starts on the first day of the Malayalam month (in November). Millions of pilgrims undertake a 41-day penance before embarking on the pilgrimage.
Close to 10,000 state government employees, including police personnel, have been deployed to manage the crowds.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is expected to be one of the first pilgrims Wednesday.