Basic facilities elude pilgrims on traditional route to Sabarimala

THE traditional forest trekking route to Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala’s Sabarimala has been witnessing a heavy flow of pilgrims for the past one week.

Published: 24th December 2017 10:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2017 10:56 AM   |  A+A-

SABARIMALA: THE traditional forest trekking route to Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala’s Sabarimala has been witnessing a heavy flow of pilgrims for the past one week.Even as the revenue of the temple this year has been far beyond than the revenue during the corresponding period last year, pilgrims taking the Erumeli-to-Pampa-through-Azhutha-and-Karimala route has not been provided basic facilities.

Thousands of pilgrims, a majority of them from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, set on pilgrimage from the Erumeli Sree Dharma Sastha temple after the pettathullal ritualistic dance. They take to the strenuous trekking after crossing Azhutha river through the Kallidamkunnu hill, where they are bereft of basic facilities including free medicated water, free food and even latrines. Though the need for basic facilities was brought to the attention of the respective governments, including during review meetings chaired by the chief minister, hardly any follow-up has been done at the district administration-level or the forest department-level in last several years.

Even voluntary organisations in the pilgrims’ service have not been given the helping hand to run free service facilities at the camp centres at Mukkuzhi, Kariyilamthodu, Karimala and Cheriyanavattom. The forest department, which oversees working of the 500-odd hotels and shops run by the eco-development committees on the trekking path between Azhuthakadavu and Cheriyananavattom passing through Kariyilamthodu and Karimala, does not control the price of food and soft drinks sold by them.

The total revenue at the Sabarimala temple till December 18 of this year’s pilgrim season stands at `132.96 crore as against `115.60 crore during the corresponding period during the last season. The income from sale of aravana prasadam of the temple alone stands at `58.13 crore.



Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp