SABARIMALA: Taking the free food facility for devotees visiting Lord Ayyappa temple here to a new high, the Travancore Devaswom Board has started providing ‘annadanam’ daily to 50,000 pilgrims at Sannidhanam, Pampa and Nilakkal.Devaswom executive officer in Sabarimala Rajendra Prasad told TNIE free food will be served to pilgrims round-the-clock at the annadana mandapam near Malikappuram Devi temple. And the facility will cater to around 30,000 pilgrims, he said.
According to Rajendra
Prasad, except for a short break to clean up the hall where the food is distributed, pilgrims can avail themselves of the facility at all times. Pilgrims interested in sponsoring free food should pay `6 lakh to the TDB for sponsoring a day’s food, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pilgrims also have the option of sponsoring part of the day’s food, he said.
The free food distribution at Pampa, near the foot overbridge, will cater to 10,000 pilgrims daily, Rajendra Prasad said. It offers free food three times daily -- breakfast between 7 am and 10 am; lunch from 12 noon to 3pm; and dinner between 7pm to 10pm, he said.At the Nilakkal pilgrim transit camp, the TDB free food distribution centre near Lord Shiva temple offers food to 10,000 pilgrims daily, Prasad said. And steps have been initiated to further expand the free food facility’s coverage during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku season’s peak time, he said.