Sabarimala, Dec 5: The famed Sabarimala temple has dedicated free meals to around 75,000 pilgrims on Monday to wish for the speedy recovery of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, a senior temple official said.
The four meals on Monday will be served free of cost to pilgrims, Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam member Ajay Tharayil told IANS.
"A breakfast of upma and curry was followed by a vegetarian lunch. In dinner, 'kanji' or a rice gruel along with pulses will be served, apart from a late night meal session," said Tharayil.
"There seems to be a huge rush of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu today (Monday)," added Tharayil.
Jayalalithaa had suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. She "continues to be very critical", Apollo Hospitals in Chennai said on Monday.
The food is served to 2,000 devotees at the temple compound on a hill top and another 1,000 at a hall at the foothill in Pamba.
Pilgrims pay money to the temple board, whose officials oversee cooking and serving of food to pilgrims.
"We have offered special prayers for our Amma (Jayalalithaa). We wish her to get well to resume governance of our state, which has progressed well under her," said a group of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu.
Situated in the mountains of the Western Ghats, the Sabarimala temple is four km uphill of Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is accessible only on foot from Pamba.