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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightDevaswom Minister kept...

Devaswom Minister kept in the dark about Sabarimala name-change

Devaswom Minister kept in the dark about Sabarimala name-change

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran has expressed his displeasure over the government not being informed about the change of the name of the State’s renowned Sabarimala temple that had been known as Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple.

In a major decision, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which governs the holy shrine, on Monday issued an order changing the name of the temple to Sabarimala Sree Ayyappaswamy Temple.

Minister Surendran, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, said he got to know about the name-change from newspapers.

The minister said that he would seek an explanation from the Travancore Devaswom Board on the matter.

I don’t think the Devaswom Board has any right to change the name of any temple on its own. I had met the Board President Prayar Gopalakrishnan several times to discuss about the preparations in the wake of the ongoing pilgrimage season. He didn’t care either to inform the government or mention to me about the name-change at any of these meetings. It is a serious lapse from his part that this decision was kept as a secret, Surendran said in the post.

The minister added that he had talked to sabarimala Tantri and the Pandalam royal family members. “They too had no idea about the matter. Moreover, they are of an opinion that such a name-change is uncalled for.”

The minister added that an explanation would be sought from the Board immediately.

In official records, the temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and situated in a dense forest in Pathanamthitta district, had been known as Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple.

Devaswom Board authorities had said the decision to change the name of the temple was taken at the meeting of the board on October 5.

"There are many Dharmasastha temples under the Devaswom Board, but Sabarimala is the one and only holy seat in the world where Sree Ayyappaswamy presides. That is the reason why crores of devotees visit Sabarimala every year to have darshan of Lord Ayyappaswamy," the board officials said.

The journey to the temple, which is open to all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, is through difficult paths in the forest as vehicles can go only up to Pampa.

The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, but also from other parts of the country and abroad.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, an autonomous body, is entrusted with the task of administrating 1,248 temples, including Sabarimala, in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore.

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