Postal delivery of Sabarimala prasadam on the cards

File photo

Sabarimala: As the pilgrimage season at the Lord Ayyappa Temple here is underway even as concerns over Covid exist, the Travancore Devaswom Board and the Department of Posts have come together to safely deliver prasadam -- consecrated food to be partaken by devotees. The postal delivery could come as a blessing for devotees who cannot personally attend the darshan -- the auspicious sighting of the deity - at Sabarimala temple during the ongoing Mandala Makaravilakku pilgrim season due to the Covid pandemic.

The devotees can make the bookings for prasadam at their nearest post office in any part of the country. The system is being arranged in such a manner that once the money is deposited at the post office, the prasadam would reach the homes of devotees within two to three days.

The price of the prasadam packet has not been decided yet. Travancore Devaswom Board president N Vasu and Devaswom Commissioner B S Thirumeni held discussions with the Postmaster General with regard to the home delivery plan.

The typical prasdaam of the famed temple consists of 'appam' and 'aravana'. The 'appam' is a hard, sweet ball made of rice, kadalippazham (a variety of banana), ghee etc, while 'aravana' is a thick sweet dessert made of jaggery. 

The home-delivered packets of prasadam will contain aravana, aatiya shistham nei, vibhuti prasadam, manjal and kumkumam. 

Strict restrictions have been put in place for entry into the temple town of Sabarimala and the temple complex, Sannidhanam, because of the Covid pandemic. 

As per the decisions taken at the level of the Kerala Chief Secretary, on routine days 1,000 devotees will be allowed to climb the hill shrine, 2,000 devotees on Saturdays and Sundays and on important days during the pilgrimage season the number of permitted daily devotees will be 5,000. A slight change is likely to be made in the present system.

However, the Travancore Devaswom Board has concluded that even if a review is made in the schedule, a majority of devotees will not be able to have darshan at Sabarimala this season. Taking this into account the postal delivery of the prasadam could come as a boon for devotees. 

Sabarimala is on the banks of Pamba river in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district. 

The Department of Posts is also known as India Post. 

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