SABARIMALA: The Sabarimala temple was opened for pilgrims on Sunday after imposing restrictions on the entry at Pampa-Triveni due to the damage on the foothills of the temple during the middle of last month.
The Travancore Devaswom Board initiated immediate efforts to restore the basic facilities, including the Triveni bridge which was covered with silt and sand in the flood. Melsanthi Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri opened the sreekovil at 5 pm in the presence of thantri Kandararu Rajivaru. No rituals were performed at the sreekovil in the evening.
Kalabhabhishekam will be performed on the first day of the Malayalam month of Kanni on Monday. As part of the ritual, thantri Rajivaru will perform Brahmakalsa pooja at the mandapam in the presence of melsanthi Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri at 10 am. The ritual will conclude with Kalabhabhishekam after the procession carrying the Brahmakalsam led the by the thantri circumambulating the sreekovil.
Udayasthamana pooja, Padi pooja and Pushapabhishekam will be performed during the five days of the monthly poojas.
The atonement rites will be performed under the leadership of thantri Rajiavaru for four days from Monday. The atonement rites to be performed are Mahaganapathi homam, Sudarsana homam and Mritumjaya homam. The temple will be closed on September 21 evening after Athazha pooja and Harivarsanam at 10 pm, marking the closure of the five-day monthly poojas.
KSRTC begins special services
Sabarimala: The KSRTC started operating special services between Nilackal and Pampa to ferry pilgrims on Sunday, following the decision to permit pilgrim vehicles up to Nilackal. The state government decided to impose restrictions on pilgrim vehicles beyond Nilackal due to the damage caused on the road between Nilackal and Pampa, following landslides at half-a-dozen locations.
The PWD authorities restored the road after removal of the sand and reconstruction of the retaining wall of the road. KSRTC authorities deployed buses to operate on special schedules to carry pilgrims between Nilackal and Pampa. The KSRTC began 24-hour Nilackal-Pampa chain services on Sunday to ensure safe travel for the pilgrims for the five-day monthly pooja till September 21.
Meanwhile, Ayyappa devotees cried foul as the KSRTC increased the fare to Pampa from C31 to C40 on Sunday afternoon. Many devotees who arrived for the monthly pooja agitated against the decision. However, KSRTC sources said the hike was warranted because it was operating fast passenger buses.