While the Appam sales have crept to a near standstill,  Aravana production has been slashed down by 80 percent this season. 

Aravana production slashed in Sabarimala as pilgrim numbers drop
news Sabarimala Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 08:06

Due to a significant drop in the number of devotees visiting Sabarimala this season, the temple's business has taken a huge beating with Appam and Aravana sales hitting an all time low.

According to sources, most appam contractors at the temple are facing losses, while the Aravana production has been cut down by 80 percent by the Travancore Devasom Board. The temple usually sees close to 2 lakh devotees per day during its peak seasons and an average of 48,000 tins of Aravana payasam are produced everyday. However, the low pilgrim numbers this Mandala season has forced authorities to reduce production to 9600 tins per day, cutting down 80 percent of their business.

Only 2.4 lakh tins of Aravana were sold in the first 7 days of the temple reopening this season as compared to the the 10 lakh cans sold in the same period in 2017, according to a Hindu report. The appam sale too has been around 50,000 packets in the first 7 days, against the daily average sale of 60,000 packets in the same period last year. As on Thursday, the TDB had an excess stock of 29 lakh tins of Aravana and two lakh packets of appam, according to the report.

However, authorities state that this is a routine affair with production being reduced based on the daily sales during lean months.

“We produce Appam and Aravana based on the sales recorded and production is increased or reduced proportionately. The last 7 days, we have been low in business which has prompted us to slow down the production. We have not stopped production completely ,” Devaswom Commissioner N Vasu told TNM.

Sabarimala makes over Rs 150 crores revenue during the Mandala-makaravilaku season every year. In 2014, the temple saw a record 203 crores as revenue during the 63 day period - with appam and aravana sales bringing Rs 14 crore and Rs 79 crores respectively.    

This season, TDB authorities are expecting pilgrim numbers to increase in the coming days. The revenue from Sabarimala is important for the Travancore Devasom Board that manages many other smaller temples.

“Today we saw a good crowd at the temple and this is expected to continue. Based on this, production will be increased,” the commissioner added.

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