THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For ages, thousands of devotees have been trudging up to the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple to catch a glimpse of the Lord. Now, a smaller temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is coming up in Thiruvananthapuram district. The Sai Gramam at Thonnackal, an initiative of the Sri Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust, is establishing a shrine to Lord Ayyappa, and it will be the sixth temple on the Sai Gramam campus.
Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar will inaugurate the ‘Prathista’ ceremony at 10 am on Wednesday, Trust founder and executive director Anandakumar said.
"There is an interesting story behind this temple. A friend of mine and a frequent visitor to the Sai Gramam Sukumara Pillai, who retired from the CBI, used to tell me that we should have a Lord Ayyappa temple here. Later, we had a ‘Devaprasnam’ at the Shirdi Sai Temple at Sai Gramam after which it was recommended that an Ayyappa temple be set up here. It was coincidence, but we decided to go ahead,’’ Anandakumar said.
The idol of Lord Ayyappa, crafted in ‘panchaloha’, has been procured from Kumbakonam, he said.
The temple to Lord Ayyappa will be the sixth on the Sai Gramam campus. The institution has a temple to Ganapathi, Siva-Parvathi, Murugan, Lord Buddha and Shirdi Sai Baba.
The temple to Lord Buddha was inaugurated a few years ago by the Karmapa Lama Ogyen Trinley Dorje during a visit to the Sai Gramam. It is also a one-of-its kind temple to the Buddha in the State.