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Sabarimala Vehicle Ban: Kerala HC Allows To Park Cars In Pamba

Sabarimala Vehicle Ban Case

After 5 years, the Kerala High Court passed the announcement on the parking issue stating vehicles can be parked in the Pamba in Sabarimala. This makes the devotees happy and relieved over the issue.

The Sabarimala Temple:

The Sabarimala Temple holds great significance among devotees, particularly for the followers of Lord Ayyappan. The pilgrimage to Sabarimala involves a unique set of rituals and traditions, including the carrying of the Irumudi, which symbolizes the offerings and necessities carried by the pilgrims during their journey.

Male devotees, known as Ayyappa Swamis, undertake this pilgrimage. They often gather in groups, sometimes led by a head priest or guru like Gurusamy, who guides them through the spiritual journey and helps in observing the necessary rituals and customs.

The Sabarimala temple is located in Perinad village, Kerala, and it holds a special place in the hearts of devotees, the temple is visited by a lot of people in the time of April, November, and December. The devotees were thousands to lakhs come to visit Ayyappan during Makara Jyothi, Karthikai month, and Mandal Puja. 

Sabarimala Parking Before 2018:

Due to loads of people visiting, Sabarimala was always crowded. Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) provides 10 acres of land for the devotees at Hilltop, Thirumeni, and Chakkupallam in Pamba. The lightweight vehicles (motor cars) were parked in the Pamba area and vehicles with can hold more than 15 passengers were parked at Nilakkal, Kerala which is a one-hour journey from Pamba.

2018 Kerala Flood:

In 2018, Kerala experienced a major blood that shook the state. During that time, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority warned the Kerala people with red alert due to the intense flooding.

The huge flood in Kerala made the land sloppy, and there were landslides in some places, in other cases, sand was gathered together and formed small sand dunes. This resulted in the place becoming unfit for parking at the time. So, Kerala banned parking Pamba which resulted in all the vehicles returning to Nilakkal.

Tensions Between Police And Devotees:

Devotees are not happy about the decision as it was discomfort for them to travel between Nilakkal and Pamba. Later, complaints were raised by devotees and people started to accuse the Kerala government that they were trying to recieve more revenue using the situation.

In this case, there was a lot of tension between the Kerala police and the devotees due to the police were not allowing the vehicles, and the devotees were demanding parking. This became a huge issue after a cop in an outburst said 'Why are visiting the Sabarimala?' 

Kerala High Court Removed The Sabarimala Vehicle Ban:

The Case was filed in the Kerala High Court over the issue because devotees were demanding for the parking. The court after five years allowed the parking in Pamba making the Ayyappan Pilgrims happy.

The lightweight vehicles are allowed to park in Pamba and it is also mentioned that 800 vehicles are the limit for Pamba parking. Considering this, vehicles with can hold more than 15 people should park on the ground. The pilgrims are happy cause it saves them time and they can reach the holy 18 steps as soon as possible. 

What Are The Necessities To Park In Pamba?

The Kerala High Court while passing the rule has made it clear that motor cars without FASTag (Scanners) will not be allowed to park on the Sabarimala grounds. The court also mentioned that the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) should take steps to install FASTag scanners at the entry points of the parking grounds at Chakkupalam II and Hilltop.

The Kerala High Court's directive regarding FASTag enforcement and prohibiting unauthorized parking marks a significant step towards regulating traffic and ensuring safety on the grounds of Chakkupalam II and Hilltop. By mandating FASTag scanners at entry points, the court helps to streamline parking procedures and enhance efficiency while discouraging non-compliance.

The review petition filed by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) underscores the importance of balancing regulatory measures with practical considerations. The court's response to this petition will likely take into account various factors, including the TDB's concerns and to maintain the peace in pilgrimage sites like Pamba, Chakkupallam, and Triveni.