A ministerial conference of southern states held here today requested the central government to declare 'Lord Ayyappa Temple' at Sabarimala as a national pilgrim centre. The meeting presided by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan passed a resolution in this regard, considering the fact that declaring 'Sabarimala' as a pilgrim centre would help provide more facilities for those visiting the temple during the November-January festival season. In a Facebook post, Vijayan said the state would ask the Centre to declare the hill shrine as a national pilgrim centre. The temple situated in the Western Ghats in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala attracts a large number of devotees from various corners of the country during the 'Mandala-Makaravillaku' festival season from November to January. Vijayan wanted all the southern states to open control rooms in their respective capitals for smooth coordination of festival arrangements. For the benefit of devotees, the darshan timing at the temple has been increased, he said. Various projects to improve the pilgrim amenities worth Rs 300 crore are on different stages, Vijayan said. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said all arrangements were in place for this year's festival . Kerala DGP Loknath Behra informed that pilgrims from 59 countries had registered for the virtual queue. TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan and top officials from southern states attended the meeting.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)