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Why Sabarimala is buzzing this year
December 11, 2006 15:32 IST
The famous Ayyappa temple in Kerala has witnessed a 30 per cent rise in pilgrims arriving during the current 'mandala pooja' season which began in mid-November, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Considering the heavy rush to the hill shrine since last weekend, the police and security contingent deployed for crowd management will be strengthened in the coming days, official sources said in Sabarimala on Monday.
Pilgrims had to wait several hours in queue at the foothill Pampa and Marakkoottam near the Sannidhanam uphill for darshan following heavy influx of pilgrims since Friday. At present, 72 pigrims per minute are allowed to enter the shrine through the holy 'eighteen steps.'
"This will be increased to 92 per minute to ease the rush. For this, more police personnel would be deployed," the sources said.
Also, more police pickets and barricades would be set up on the way up and down and to regulate traffic flow at Nilakkal and Pampa. According to Travancore Devaswam Board officials, the increase in arrivals also yielded greater revenue to the temple.Preliminary estimates showed that there was an increase of about Rs 4 crore by way of cash offerings and proceeds from sale of 'prasadams' so far this season.