Opening Of Sanctum Sanctorum: 3 AM
Abhishekam: 3:30 AM To 11 AM
Kalasabhishekam: 11:30 AM
Kalabhabhishekam: 12 Noon
Closing Of The Sanctum Sanctorum At Noon: 1 PM
Opening Of The Sanctum Sanctorum In The Evening: 3 PM
Pushpabhishekam: 7 PM
Harivarasanam: 10.50 PM
Closing Of The Sanctum Sanctorum: 11 PM
Sabarimala Crowds: Kerala High Court Contemplates Formation of Legal Team to Examine Congestion
Due to the escalating number of worshippers at the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, the Kerala High Court is considering the formation of a 12-member legal team to investigate the congestion at the pilgrimage center. The primary responsibility of this legal team will be to scrutinize the grievances of devotees and assess the facilities provided to pilgrims. The court has observed that between 5,000 to 10,000 individuals ascend Sabarimala daily without pre-booked slots.
The legal team will conduct on-site visits to queue complexes and other resting areas, compiling a comprehensive report. A lawyer who visited Sabarimala reported inadequate facilities throughout the pilgrimage site, prompting the court’s intervention. Additionally, the court has directed authorities to arrange for food at various locations, including Ilavunkal. A comparison of the numbers reveals that there was no prolonged wait for darshan the previous year.
Simultaneously, the Travancore Devaswom Board has updated the court on measures taken for pilgrims, deciding to extend ‘darshan’ timings at the Lord Ayyappa shrine by an hour, from 3 pm to 11 pm. Water and biscuits are now being provided to devotees waiting in queues.
However, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, V D Sathessan, has alleged inadequate facilities, stating that pilgrims endure 15 to 20-hour waits for darshan without access to water. Numerous devotees have aired complaints on television, revealing extended queue times exceeding 10-12 hours and traffic jams along the route to Sabarimala.
IG Sparjan Kumar, overseeing security at Sabarimala, disclosed that the police had urged the TDB to limit daily devotee numbers to 75,000. During the current third phase of the pilgrimage, the influx of devotees has risen significantly, with around 90,000 virtual queue bookings and nearly 30,000 spot bookings daily. The presence of more children, women, and elderly individuals has impeded efforts to expedite the climb up the Pathinettampadi (18 divine steps).
The annual 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakkku pilgrimage, commencing on November 16, marks the initiation of the auspicious Malayalam month of Vrichikam. To ensure a secure and orderly pilgrimage, the government introduced a dynamic queue-control system this season to manage crowds at ‘Sannidhanam.’