Sabarimala | Photo: Screengrab
Thiruvananthapuram: Sabarimala Devaswom Board has initiated preparations to allow pilgrims to the temple shrine through the closed Neelimala, Appachimedu route. The board is now waiting for the final nod from the government's high level committee. Basic facilities have been set up on Neelimala pathway to allow the devotees through it.
Travancore Devaswom Board president K Ananthagopan informed that all facilities for the devotees will be provided and no one has to return without darshan.
The travel through Neelimala was banned considering the fatigue and health problems devotees who survived Covid may experience. The terrain which is difficult to walk and the lack of facilities are the major reasons for shutting the path. At present, the devotees are allowed to visit the temple only through the Swami Ayyappan route. The authorities are also considering to allow devotees to stay in the shrine for at least 8 hours for ‘Neyyabhishekam’.
45,000 devotees are permitted to enter the temple a day during the Mandalam season. 19 lakhs of pilgrims booked their slots till Thursday for Sabarimala darshan. With the decline in Covid cases, Devaswom board demands to ease the restrictions imposed in Sabarimala pilgrimage.