SABARIMALA: The aggregate revenue at Lord Ayyappa temple here shot up to Rs 17 crore during the first seven days of the 2019-2020 pilgrimage season as against around Rs 10 crore recorded during the corresponding period last season. The revenue during the first week of the 2017-18 pilgrim season was Rs 23.07 crore.
Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) member KS Ravi has attributed the Rs 7-crore increase in revenue over the last pilgrimage season to the steep rise in the number of pilgrims visiting the hill shrine following the relaxation in the restrictions imposed by the authorities.
According to a police source, around 3.25 lakh pilgrims visited the temple during the first seven days of the ongoing season. On Friday alone, the number of pilgrim arrivals stood at around 76,000.
Though the exact figures of pilgrim arrival during the corresponding period last year are not available with the authorities, it is estimated that around 2 lakh devotees visited the hill shrine during the first seven days of last season, the source said.
“Of the total Rs 17 crore, the earnings from the sale of aravana prasadam stood at Rs 6.52 crore during the first week of the ongoing season as against Rs 3.14 crore during the corresponding period last season,” said Ravi.
According to KS Ravi, the hundi collection during the period under review stood at H6 crore compared to H3.84 crore during the same period in 2018-19 pilgrimage season. Ravi said the earnings from the sale of appam prasadam was Rs 81.14 lakh during the first week of the ongoing season, while it was Rs 29.31 lakh during the corresponding period in the last pilgrimage season.
“Among the other earnings, the income from neyyabhishekam stood at Rs 13.40 lakh as against Rs 8.77 lakh during the same period last season,” he said. The income from rent on the accommodation facilities stood at Rs 6.33 lakh as against Rs 4.40 lakh during the corresponding period last season, said Ravi.