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Sabarimala temple pilgrimage: 40 lakh pilgrims expected; how you can avoid the rush

The revered hill shrine in Kerala will open for devotees today evening after puja at the sanctum sanctorum. Pilgrims can book darshan slots through

Sabarimala temple pilgrimage opens Thursday: 40 lakh pilgrims expected how you can avoid the rush
First Published Nov 16, 2022, 1:56 PM IST

The annual pilgrimage of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple will begin on Thursday. The temple will be opened to devotees after puja at the sanctum sanctorum at 5 pm on Wednesday, a day ahead of the commencement of the two-month-long pilgrimage.

About 40 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit the hill temple during this Mandalam-Makaravilakku season. The 41-day Mandala puja will come to a close on December 27, and the temple will be reopened after two days on December 30 for the Makaravilakku, which will be held on January 14, 2023. After week-long rituals, the temple will be closed on January 20.

Online booking of slots

Authorities have made elaborate arrangements to welcome pilgrims arriving at the temple from across the country. To avoid crowding for darshan, devotees can book their slots online too. Ten counters have been set up at Nilakkal exclusively for online booking. 

Pilgrims can log into to book the slots by uploading details and identity proof. Online booking is free of charge, and no booking is required for children below the age of six.

Once the online registration is complete, as many as ten persons can apply for darshan from a single account. They will need to produce the booking details at the entrance for darshan.

First pilgrim season since the lifting of Covid restrictions

According to officials, only two lakh devotees will be allowed at the Sannidhanam at a given point of time. The district Disaster Management Authority has prepared a map that identifies areas which are prone to crowding and accidents.

Since this is the first pilgrim season after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions that lasted two years, the authorities are expecting a huge turnout of devotees. Elaborate security arrangements are in put place for the smooth conduct of the festival.

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