THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pilgrimage to Kurisumala will be held during March 21-25 and on Good Friday, which falls on April 6. The pilgrim centre situated 3,000 feet above sea level is the official pilgrimage centre of Latin Catholic Church’s Neyyatinkara diocese.
Officials of two states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, have begun detailed preparations to receive a heavy surge of pilgrims from various South Indian states.
Kurisumala, the pilgrimage centre which is situated at the highest altitude in South India, had received more than 20 lakh devotees last year. Apart from the devotees, the hilly area, blessed with greenery and a cool, fresh air, has been luring nature lovers from time immemorial.
The centre, located in the lap of the Sahya mountain range, houses a place of worship instituted by Fr John Baptist, a prayer centre, Cross, cappella and an imprint of the Last Supper made on a rock.
Fr Joy Mathias, the rector of Kurisumala, said preparations have been on during the last six months. ”The days of the pilgrimage have been scheduled in a manner that the programme will conclude on the Sunday before the Palm Sunday. Eight teams, to deal with issues like food, security, volunteers and transport, are being formed to oversee the preparations,” he said.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation will ply buses from various depots in Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari districts to Kurisumala. Medical facilities would be made available at the hill top and at the conference venue.
Union Minister of State for Energy K C Venugopal, Speaker G Karthikeyan, Ministers V S Sivakumar, K C Joseph and P K Jayalakshmi and Shashi Tharoor MP will participate in the public meeting.
Archbishop Soosaipakiam, Neyyattinkara Bishop Dr Vincent Samuel, Punalur bishop Dr Silvester Ponnumuthan, Kottar bishop Dr Peter Remigius and Syro-Malankara Marthandam bishop Dr Vincent Mar Paulose will lead the holy rituals.