Pilgrims show nil interest in Sabarimala virtual queue
Pathanamthitta: With the Mandalam – Makaravilakku season around the corner, the online booking facility for virtual queue for Ayyappa devotees to book in advance their darshan timings at the Sabarimala temple commenced on Monday. However, the number of bookings show a considerable fall. Compared to last year where thousands of devotees had used the facility, this year the slots that will be opened from November 17 is vacant.
The booking facility has been eased compared to last year. However, all the details including identity card number should be provided while booking.
It is assumed that the anxiety over the situation at Sabarimala following the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age, is the reason behind low numbers. Also the drawback in booking the offerings online, that was newly started, resulted in the dip.
Together with queue booking, devotees can book the offerings and pay money. Appam, Aravana, Neyyabishekam, Viboothi, Manjal – Kumkumam offerings can be booked online. However, one person can book only two tins of Aravana and a packet of Appam. This restriction also makes online booking facility less appealing. Also Rs 10 is charged as internet fee for the offering bookings.
In the previous years devotees had effectively used the virtual queue facility. Usually the virtual queue bookings used to be completed in the initial days of the opening of the facility itself. But since last year, after the women entry, things have changed.
The main attraction is that the devotees can reach the Pathinettampadi without any rush. There are 16 slots of one hour each from morning 4 to 10 at night excluding the time when the Nada is closed. The facility has been arranged for around 3000 devotees daily.
At present devotees can book slots for the period November 17 to January 5. However, thousands of bookings in various slots remain vacant at present.
For virtual queue booking, contact: www.sabarimalaonline.org
Helpline number: 7025800100