Saturday March 23, 2019

All prepared for new season of Sabarimala festival

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Sabarimala: All arrangements are ready for the beginning of the two-month Sabarimala temple festive season, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Saturday.

Chandy told IANS that he was at the pilgrim centre a few days ago to review the arrangements and felt happy with what was being organised for this season.

“We have spent Rs.62 crores in the past few months for increasing the facilities for the smooth pilgrimage. A new parking facility has been created for over 4,000 vehicles. A new waste treatment plant has also been commissioned,” he said.

Chandy pointed out that the temple receives more non-Keralites than Keralites during the two months and for that the government has allotted five acres of land to each of the south Indian states.

“Karnataka has already taken possession of the land while Telangana will sign the agreement soon, while the other two states Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are expected to do it shortly,” Chandy said.

He said these states would have the freedom to build guest houses and post their officials.

“Through this arrangement, we expect that people from these south Indian states will get better facilities and service from their own officials,” Chandy added.

The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple opens its doors on Monday evening, signalling the commencement of welcoming devotees from early Tuesday. It coincides with the first day of the Malayalam month of “Vrishickam”.

Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.

The practice among many pilgrims before setting off for the holy shrine is to undertakes an intense 41-day penance where they do not wear sandals, wear a black dhoti and eat only vegetarian food.

Each pilgrim carries a kit (lrumudi) that contains coconuts broken just before climbing the 18 steps. A pilgrim carries it on his head during the pilgrimage and without it, nobody is allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.

(IANS)

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Sabarimala Tantri Gets More Time to Explain Purification Rituals

Vijayan had said that Rajeeveru has every right as a person to differ with the court order but if he was not able to digest the verdict, he could well have quit his post

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Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

Sabarimala temple custodian, the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), on Monday extended time to Tantri Kantararu Rajeeveru to explain why a “purification” ritual was conducted following the visit of two women devotees to the Lord Ayyappa shrine just after New Year, said a board official.

“Till Sunday he was at Sabarimala. Now that he is free, he might have to take opinion from others before he gives his reply. So we gave him another 15 days time,” TDB president A. Padmakumar told the media here.

“Generally when a normal purification ritual is done, the tantri does not need to take the permission of the TDB, but what happened on January 2, was not a normal one,” Padmakumar added.

The temple was shut for an hour around 10.30 a.m., on January 2, for “purification rituals” after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed two women — Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, belonging to the hitherto banned age group — completed a ‘darshan’ at 3.30 a.m. in Sabarimala.

“We have asked for an explanation from him (Rajeeveru), why the TDB permission was not sought,” said Padmakumar.

Photo: www.swamyayyappa.in

On January 4, after serving the notice to the tantri, Padmakumar said the purification ritual went against the directive of the Supreme Court that on September 28 allowed all women entry inside the shrine.

Action against the tantri for closing the shrine to conduct the “purification” ritual would depend on his explanation of the action, especially as Vijayan had asked the TDB to take a serious look into the matter.

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Confirming the entry of Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini then, the Chief Minister had said that the state abided by the apex court directive and had come down heavily on the tantri for the blatant violation.

Vijayan had said that Rajeeveru has every right as a person to differ with the court order but if he was not able to digest the verdict, he could well have quit his post. (IANS)