Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom Board minister Kadakampally Surendran has stated that the reduction in the revenue at the Sabarimala temple would affect the salaries of the board employees.

Thousands of devotees have vowed not to donate a penny to this and other temples until all temples in the country are freed from government control. For, they do not want their money to fill the state coffers as they hold that the state is unduly interfering in their religious beliefs.

The accounts of the first five days of Mandalam season showed a decrease of Rs 11.71 crore when compared with the last year’s income during the same time.

Usually, the temple witnesses a 10 % increase in its income every year. Last year, the revenue collected over the first five days of the season was Rs 19,09,42,134 and this year it has been Rs 7,37,90,222.

Sabarimala temple's income is generated through offerings made by the devotees, donations, and sale of Appam/Aravana (prasadam). It has shown a drastic decline according to the accounts of the first five days of the ongoing Mandalam season.

All sources of the income have been affected and mainly the sale of Aravana and Hundi collection have been affected this year. There is a substantial decrease in all the main offerings made in the temple.

Last year during this time, the income from the sale of Aravana was Rs 5.09 crore, but this time it is Rs 1.76 crore, resulting in a loss of Rs 3.33 crore. An average increase of 10% in the profit has been the normal trend, but this year this extreme decline in profit is attributed to restrictions imposed in Sabarimala.

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“Sangh Parivar is making conscious efforts to hamper the income of Sabarimala temple. This will affect the board substantially and it will even affect the payment of the salaries to the board employees,” the minister expressed his concern on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the netizens alleged that severe restrictions imposed by the Kerala Police on account of the Supreme Court order on young women’s entry into the shrine has affected the free flow of devotees to Sabarimala, resulting in the radical reduction in the income of the temple.