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Eight Sabarimala pilgrims from Andhra, driver injured in bus mishap near Pampa

SABARIMALA (Kerala), Dec 20: Eight Sabarimala pilgrims were injured when their bus coming up to the hill temple situated in Kerala's Western Ghats fell into a gorge at Kanamala on Erumeli-Pampa route on Monday. The injured pilgrims included three women. The driver of the bus was also injured.

The bus mishap occurred at Attivalavu at 9:15 in the morning. The pilgrims were coming from Andhra Pradesh.

Today bus services run through Kanamala valley to Pampa, downhill of the temple, 30 km away, from places like Mukkoottuthara, Erumeli, Koruthodu, Mundakkayam, Changanassery and Kottayam. This used to be the traditional, risky route through leopard inhabited forests and had to be trekked in ancient times. Many pilgrims did not return those days! The less faithful take the safer route via Pathanamthitta.

Meanwhile, the number of online registrations for darshan at the hill temple has been raised to 60,000 in view of the sharp decrease in covid cases in the State. This limit includes 5,000 spot bookings. In addition, spot bookings can be done over and above the limit against cancellations of virtual bookings.

The pilgrimage through the ancient Karimala route has also been allowed. Besides, various rituals which were banned because of the pandemic have also been revived. This includes the ghee offerings at the sanctum sanctorum called 'Neyyabhishekam.'

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