Pathanamthitta: The first day of the Sabarimala pilgrimage saw a surge in the revenue of the holy temple of Lord Ayyappa compared to last year. The revenue from the devotees amounted to Rs. 3.30 crore on the first day. Last year, the temple only got Rs. 2.04 crore on the first day of the pilgrimage.
The rise in revenue is a direct reflection of the government’s decision not to assist women who try to enter the holy shrine. Last year, devotees were upset about the government who tried to force women into the holy shrine by citing the Supreme Court verdict.
Last year, the flow of devotees reduced due to the government’s use of unnecessary force and violence to suppress the peaceful protest of Ayyappa devotees. The devotees also refused to put money at the temple as a mark of protest against the communist government’s assistance to women who wanted to violate the ancient traditions of the temple.
However, this year, Sabarimala temple seems to attract more devotees and revenues as the government backed down from its tough stance against the wishes of the devotees. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 are stopped and send back to protect the traditions of the temple.
The number of devotees coming to the hilltop shrine rose over 70,000 since the pilgrimage season began on 16 November.