Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 3: Kerala Government has embarked on an ambitious project to build 36 Amenity Centres for Sabarimala pilgrims across the state at a cost of Rs 100 crore.
Launching the work on the first phase of the Rs 10-crore Amenity Centre at Kazhakuttom Mahadevar temple near here, Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism Kadakampally Surendran on Saturday said the Amenity Centre will serve as the largest stop-over facility for the Ayyappa pilgirms.
The pilgrim facility complex at Kazhakuttom, located in Surendran’s constituency, is the first of the string of Amenity Centres to be developed in the length and breadth of the State.
Kazhakuttom Mahadevar temple is one of the 108 major Lord Shiva shrines in Kerala, visited by hundreds of devotees and where Ayyappa pilgrims from South Kerala and adjoining districts of Tamil Nadu take a break for rest and refreshment before proceeding to the hill shrine.
Once completed, the massive complex will have an ‘Annadana Mandapam (dining hall) with a capacity to seat 350 people at a time, a spacious high-roofed hall (viripandal) where devotees can stretch and rest, an auditorium where 700 people can sit, an open stage, modern kitchen and toilets.
It will also have an online booking counter for obtaining the ticket for the darshan queue at Sannidhanam in Sabarimala, internet and locker facility and kiosks where devotees can buy the puja and offering articles.
The main two-storey structure of the complex will have a total area of 26,846 sqft, the open air auditorium will be of 6,800 sqft and the toilet complex will be of 850 sqft. A sum of Rs 46 lakh has been set apart for renovation of the temple pond.
The works will be carried out in the traditional architectural style and the premises will be beautified with a garden planted with a rich variety of flower-bearing plants and foliages.
Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V K Prasanth, Travancore Devaswom Board President A Padma Kumar, TDB members K P Sankaradas and N Vijayakumar, Devaswom Recruitment Board Chairman M Rajagopalan Nair, Devaswom Commissioner N Vasu and Corporation Councillor Medayil Vikraman were present.
During the non-pilgrim season, the complex can also serve as a wedding hall and utilised for the purposes of the temple.UNI