Sabarimala Pilgrimage Woes : Challenges in Kottayam for Pilgrims from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu
Sabarimala Pilgrimage Woes : Kottayam (Kerala) 12 jan2024 (CITY TIMES). Pilgrims undertaking the sacred journey to the Sabarimala temple, from states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, found themselves grappling with numerous difficulties during their visit. Kottayam, serving as the midpoint for Sabarimala temple pilgrims, turned into a zone of hardship due to a shortage of essential resources, creating a challenging situation for pilgrims, especially those accompanied by children.
Infrastructure Shortage Hits Pilgrims in Kottayam
Kottayam, intended to be a restful stop for Sabarimala pilgrims, suffered from a scarcity of water, food, and transportation facilities, significantly impacting the pilgrims’ overall experience. The lack of KSRTC buses left many pilgrims stranded in Kottayam, exacerbating the challenges faced during their sacred journey.
One pilgrim from Telangana expressed their distress, stating, “There are no facilities here, and it is taking 20 hours to reach the temple. We have come from Telangana, and it is getting difficult here. I request the government to facilitate us.” This plea highlights the urgency for intervention to ensure a smoother pilgrimage for devotees.
Criticism Mounts as Pilgrims Voice Dissatisfaction
The discontent among the pilgrims reached a boiling point, with some attributing their difficulties to the failure of government policies in Kerala. A pilgrim voiced their frustration, stating, “This is the government’s failure; this is happening because of the politics done by the communist party in the state. Pilgrims have to wait for at least two days before having darshan. I request the Kerala government and the Centre to pay heed to this.” The dissatisfaction reflects the need for a critical examination of policies impacting the pilgrimage experience.
Shinde Rahul, another pilgrim to Sabarimala temple, highlighted the personal challenges faced during the pilgrimage, especially concerning the well-being of children and the elderly. “We are here for two days with our children. There is a lack of water and other facilities. There are old people too with us, and it is difficult for them to travel like this.” This personal account underscores the pressing need for improved amenities to cater to the diverse needs of pilgrims.
Sabarimala Pilgrimage Season Faces Turbulence Amidst High Expectations
The Sabarimala pilgrimage, spanning 41 days in December and January, holds immense significance in the Hindu faith, drawing millions of devotees each year. This year’s pilgrimage season, following the Supreme Court of India’s decision to lift the ban on women of reproductive age from entering the temple, was anticipated to be unique and inclusive.
Unforeseen Hurdles Dampen Expectations
However, unforeseen challenges have dampened the expectations of a smooth pilgrimage experience. The reported difficulties faced by pilgrims from distant states and the lack of essential facilities in Kottayam have marred the overall joy and spiritual fulfillment that the Sabarimala pilgrimage aims to provide.
In conclusion, while the Sabarimala pilgrimage is a revered tradition, the current obstacles faced by devotees demand immediate attention from both the state and central authorities. The fulfillment of this sacred journey should not be marred by logistical shortcomings, and concerted efforts are required to ensure a seamless experience for pilgrims, irrespective of their origin. Balancing the preservation of traditions with the evolving needs of devotees is crucial for the continued sanctity and success of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
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