A decision has already been made to allow only 30,000 pilgrims a day to Sabarimala due to the Covid situation.
As the Sabarimala Iyappan Temple in Kerala reopened on Monday evening for a two-month annual pilgrimage, devotees were hampered in coming to the hill temple due to severe weather.
The Sabarimala Pamba River has been flooded since Sunday, flooding several roads leading to the temple in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district. Heavy rains also lashed the Sabarimala area on Monday evening. According to the weather forecast, Kerala is likely to receive heavy rains for the next few days.
Devotees were barred from going to Sabarimala due to the situation. It has already been decided to allow only 30,000 pilgrims a day to Sabarimala due to the Govt situation. At a high-level meeting convened by Chief Minister Binarayi Vijayan on Sunday, it was decided to further reduce the number of devotees depending on the weather conditions.
Devotees’ visit to the Sabarimala temple has been affected for the past few years due to the issue of women entry, natural calamities and the Govt-19 epidemic. During last year’s famous Lantern Festival, only about 5,000 devotees were allowed inside the temple, as more than one lakh devotees were allowed inside the temple in earlier times.
The revenue of the temple and the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages it, have been severely affected by the influx of devotees. The board is struggling as revenue from Sabarimala survives the other 1,200 temples under it. The Sabarimala temple earned Rs 200 crore during the normal pilgrimage season, but only Rs 15 crore last year.
The temple walk was inaugurated on Monday evening under the leadership of ‘Tantri’ Kandararu Mahesh Mohanar. The inauguration of the new ‘Melchanti’ (Leaders in Charge) was the main ceremony held during the day. My Parameswaran Namboodiri was recently elected as the new superintendent of the Malikapuram Devi Temple in Sabarimala and Shambhu Namboodiri of Kozhikode was recently selected as the new superintendent of the Malikapuram Devi Temple. Devotees will be allowed inside the temple from early Tuesday morning.
The first phase of the Mandala Puja season will be held from November 16 to December 26 and the second phase of the pilgrimage, the ‘Makaravilakku Festival’ will be held from December 30 to January 20. On January 14th.