SABARIMALA: Pilgrims to the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala can now make their offerings without using cash. The Travancore Devaswom Board [TDB], which administers the temple, has introduced an 'e-hundi' for electronic transfer of offerings with a swipe machine.
At present, there is only one counter for the swipe machine. officials said the number will be increased as demand increases.
Here's what you need to know about making your offerings to Ayyappa.
Where's the swipe machine located?
At the counter on the left side of Sopanam
What are the timings?
As per the opening and closing timings of the Ayyappa temple.
How do I use it?
Swipe the card and drop one of the two slips received as the receipt in the hundi at the counter.
What cards does it accept?
All debit and credit cards of all banks.
Is there any limit on my debit card?
Any multiple of Rs 10. There is no upper limit
Can I use my credit card?
Yes. Any multiple of Re 1. The upper limit as decided by your bank
The Sabarimala hill shrine earns about Rs 200 crore during the annual pilgrimage, half of which is from the hundi [kanikka].
The board expects the new development, introduced on the ninth day of the annual pilgrimage, will put an end to devotees' difficulties in carrying money and also alleviate the tedious task of the temple administration of counting notes and coins of various denominations received as offerings.
“This will put an end to the hardships of pilgrims. We introduced this after considering the demand from devotees from neighbouring states,” said Ajay Tharayil, a TDB member.
The e-payment system will give real-time information to the administration on the income received at the temple.
Millions of devotees from across the country and abroad worship at the temple during the 60-day Mandalam Makaravilakku festival, for which the hill shrine opened on November 15.