16 June, 2021

A Prayer For Ayya

Sabarimala, the famed hill shrine, chokes under the deluge. What is the state doing?

A Prayer For Ayya
Unholy Mess
  • In peak season, 5 lakh devotees visit the shrine every day
  • The Pampa river is heavily polluted. State pollution board studies says the river water is of sewerage grade.
  • Plans to develop infrastructure have been hanging fire for decades
  • Experts say priority should be the setting up of a 3 MLD sewage plant
  • Pilgrim facilities should be moved a few kms away to reduce congestion


Mid-November to January is the best time to visit Kerala. There's a pleasant chill in the air, the humidity levels are bearable. It's also the holy season when lakhs of devotees wind their way to the Sabarimala hills, the abode of Lord Ayyappa. It's a short climb from the banks of the sacred Pampa, deep in the densely forested Western Ghats. The passage to the river itself, once a hazard-filled jungle trek that made for classic traveller's tales, is now a motorised pilgrimage. And growing alongside the modern conveniences has been...

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