Over Rs 200-crore revenue was generated by the Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala in the last 39 days of the two-month long annual pilgrimage season.
Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president K Ananthagopan, in a release, announced that Rs 222.98 crore was earned by the temple since the Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage began on November 17.
Of that, Rs 70.10 crore was received as offerings from the nearly 30 lakh pilgrims who arrived at the shrine till date, the release said.
Of the nearly 30 lakh, one-fifth were children. According to Ananthagopan, it was probably because they could not come in the previous two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A special queue was introduced for the disabled, the elderly and children, the release quoted the TDB president as saying.
This time, devotees were able to complete their pilgrimage without any complaint barring one on the day when pilgrims had to wait for long for the darshan, the release said.
The Mandala pooja would be performed on Tuesday to mark the end of the 41-day long Mandalam period.
The pooja would take place in the afternoon after Lord Ayyappa's idol is adorned with the 'Thanka Anki', the sacred golden attire, which reached Sabarimala on Monday evening and was accorded a grand reception.
Weighing 453 sovereigns, the Thanka Anki was offered to the Lord by the Travancore royal family during the 1970s.
After the Mandala puja, the shrine would be closed for three days and reopen on December 30 at 5 PM for the Makaravilakku, the release said.
The Makaravilakku is on January 14, 2023. Thereafter, the shrine would be closed on January 20 marking the end of the pilgrimage season.
-With PTI Input