Thiruvananthapuram: COVID-19 has also taken a heavy toll on temples also and Kerala’s Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which is losing precious revenues with all their temples now closed, has now decided to take recourse online bookings for rituals.
The TDB administers all temples in the southern districts of the state and it requires around Rs 30 crore to meet its annual salary bill. With COVID-19 striking hard first in Kerala and then spreading to the neighbouring southern states, from where the Sabarimala temple gets its maximum pilgrims and - revenue - things have turned for the worse.
As an immediate measure, the TDB on Wednesday decided to open an online facility — www.onlinetdb.com — for its devotees where they can book eight different rituals. To start with, this facility is for the Sabarimala temple but the TDB will soon open it for other temples under their jurisdiction. The temple will now open for Vishu on April 14 and close on April 18, but the entry of devotees continues to be banned.
The TDB will also open an online facility for seeking donations and it can also be done through the Dhanalaxmi Bank. Sabarimala temple opens its door for its regular two-month-long festival season that begins in November and then it opens on the first few days of every month, coinciding with the beginning of the Malayalam month and then for festivals like Vishu.