Hi-tech kitchen to serve meals to devotees
Annadanam (serving free-meal) is considered to be one of the most divine and auspicious things during Sabarimala pilgrimage season. The Travancore Devaswom Board, on every season, make grand arrangements at Sannidhanam to serve the annadanam to the thousands of devotees each day for the whole pilgrimage season. For this, the board has made necessary arrangements to prepare the food in the hi-tech kitchen and serving it. Forty employees have been working here to meet the demands and for the smooth functioning of the Annadanamandapam here.
The kitchen, this time, has removed the use of firewood and gas is used as the replacement. This has helped the kitchen to be more environment-friendly. From preparing to serving and then to deal with the food wastes, the staff was given instruction and they are following it with great care. The Mandapam will be cleaned every day and the food wastes being removed. The help of machines has been sought to clean the utensils here.
The Annadanamandapam at a time can hold 2000 devotees and in a day, 40,000 devotees can be served with food here.
Publicity Centre helps reuniting devotees lost in the crowd at Sabarimala
If you get lost in the crowd of devotees at Sabarimala, don’t be panic or worry. Just dash to the Publicity cum Public Information Centre at the Valiyanadapanthal. Whatever be the time, the centre will have vigilante and caring employees to serve you. The Publicity cum Public Information Centre will help to reunite those who lost in the crowd with their friends or relatives. The 24-hour Center makes announcements of lost people, lost valuable items and will also play the records of Lord Ayyappa devotional song. The centre runs commentary in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English. This will help the devotees from other states on a large scale. MR Sreenivas from Bengaluru is the announcer in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English while Kozhencheri Gopalakrishnan and Mahesh do the Malayalam part. The Centre has 25 staffs working in various shifts to help the devotees. The Travancore Devaswom Board PRO Sunil Arumanoor is looking after the centre.
Rituals and Beliefs of Kanni Ayyappan
Kanni Ayyappan or the first time devotee to Sabarimala is one of the defining and unique features of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. There has been a story behind the Kanni Ayyappan. It is said that Lord Ayyappa has given his word to Malikappurathu Devi that he will marry her if Kanni Ayyappans fails to come to Sabarimala in a year. Unfortunately, such a thing never occurred and still Malikappuram Devi is waiting here for such a year. Those who coming first to Sabarimala should follow certain rituals and first of its kind is to find a guruswamy. One comes to treat guruswamy should have completed his eighteen years of coming to Sabarimala. The Kanni Ayyappan should wear the mala or rudraksha mala. He should follow strict penance of 41 days and should stick strict to it. He should fill the irumudikettu with the help of guruswamy and raise the Sarana slogans before heading to Sababrimala. He also should take a divine dip at the Holy River Pampa and should enact the pettathullal at Erumeli temple. He also should stick the arrow at Saramkuthy, so as to help Malikappuram Devi to find that Kanni Ayyappans have visited this year also. If a devotee coming to Sabarimala for the first time have followed this strict penance could be allowed to step in the holy golden eighteen steps to Sannidhanam.