THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Travancore Devaswom Board will expand the digital pooja booking facility to 374 more temples. A mobile app will also be launched for bookings. At present, 28 of the 1,200-odd temples under the board, including the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, allow devotees to book poojas and offerings online. Devotees’ response to the virtual pooja facility has been cold so far, except for Sabarimala.
The Ayyappa temple was the first to offer the facility and received bookings worth around 1.25 crore in the past seven months. The other temples joined the project last month. “It seems many devotees find it hard to digest the idea of performing poojas and vazhipadus without visiting the temple. A majority of the bookings at Sabarimala were by devotees from other states,” TDB president N Vasu told TNIE. He said the virtual booking facility is not a stop-gap arrangement but a permanent system. “Leading banks have expressed willingness to sponsor the programme. The first phase for 27 temples was sponsored by the Dhanlaxmi Bank,” Vasu said. The state-run Keltron is giving technical support for the project.