Sabarimala (Kerala): Within 24 hours early on Monday of the opening of the Sabarimala temple for this season's pilgrimage, its revenue has crossed Rs 3.28 crore, up by Rs 1.28 crore, as compared to the opening day in the previous season.
The revenue is generated by way of offerings and sale of "Appom" and "Aravana (payasem)" as the "prasad".
The new two-month long pilgrimage season of the Sabarimala temple opened in the wee hours of Sunday.
N. Vasu, the new president of the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB)-- the body that looks after most of the temples in the southern district of the state -- told the media here on Monday that the revenues have gone up and crossed the first day's collection of even the 2017 season.
Incidentally, the season opened amidst a bit of confusion as the Supreme Court last week did not stay its September 28, 2018, order allowing women of all ages inside the temple.
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has, however, made it very clear this season that they will not make any effort to take any women in the banned age group into the temple. Its stand has changed from the previous year when it decided to strictly enforce the apex court directive to allow entry of women in the 10 to 50 age group. The police was also keeping a very close tab on the arriving women pilgrims.
Three women in the 10 to 50 age category were told that they cannot enter the temple and were sent back. The official position of the Vijayan government, thus, seems to be clear, which could be a relief for right wing activists, who have warned Vijayan not to repeat the actions of the previous season.
At that time, in the middle of the night of January 2 this year, two women were taken into the temple amidst tight security after several earlier attempts had failed.
With the message going around that the Kerala government is going easy on the women's entry issue, pilgrims are thronging to the temple in large numbers leading to a rise in its revenues.