Hike in room charges puts pilgrims in dire straits
By ENS | Published: 23rd November 2013 10:56 AM |
The steep rise in accommodation charges for the facilities being offered by the Travancore Devaswom Board has come as a rude shock to the pilgrims. The unexpected hike in the room rates for all the TDB accommodation facilities, including Sabari Guest House, donor houses and pilgrim centres, has put the pilgrims, especially those from other states, in dire straits. Most of the rates have been increased fourfold. Apart from the room rent, charges for check-out timing ranging 12 to 16 hours and that for additional persons have also been increased. Meanwhile, the TDB sources clarified that the charges were hiked in view of large-scale manipulation by tour operators who accommodate 50 to 100 pilgrims by hiring donor houses. The other factor for the rise in fares is that the donor houses and pilgrim centres were renovated recently. Three-fourths of the pilgrims from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka belong to BPL catagory and they could not afford to pay the steep room tariff. When contacted, TDB president M P Govindan Nair said that he would look into the matter in view of the heavy burden on the pilgrims
Kalabhabhishekam was held at Lord Ayyappa temple for fourth time during the ongoing pilgrimage season. The ritual was conducted under the leadership of Thantri Kandararu Maheswararu and Melsanthi Narayanan Nampoothiri during uchcha pooja. As part of the ritual, Thantri Maheswararu conducted Kalasabhishekam on the brahamakalsam at 11.30 am at the Mandapam. The ritual was concluded with Kalabhabhishekam on the idol of Lord Ayyappa after the procession carrying the Kalabhakalasam led by the thantri and melsanthi by circumambulating the Sreekovil of the temple.