‘Illegal’ money-raising angers Angalamman temple pilgrims – Reuters

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Express press service

VILLUPURAM: The famous Angalamman Temple of Melmalaiyanur in the district attracts thousands of people from different states every month for the grand new moon rituals. However, what has annoyed them recently are the multiple ATMs in the temple premises which are not accounted for without a bill.

The temple has a single entrance which has special tokens ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 for a special darshan which allows a person to reach the shrine faster by skipping the general entrance queue. However, all the special darshan gates meet at a common entrance where the general queue gathers, and so the crowds are unbearable in the crowded space.

Additionally, to enter the shrine, pilgrims are made to pay 100 rupees per person by the priests and those who do not pay are made to exit the prayer hall immediately, sources say. There is no bill or token for cash paid in both the Special Entry Queue and the Shrine.

A 45-year-old social activist (subject to anonymity) in Villupuram said: “There is no account for the amount collected even though the temple is operating under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department. provide at least a receipt for collection of these sums.”

Many pilgrims who leave the shrine without paying the amount are humiliated and frustrated. K Pradeep (33), an engineer from Gingee who regularly visits the temple with his family told TNIE: “Just to watch the goddess, we have to pay Rs 200 per head, which is Rs 1,000 for my family. Then there are the other expenses like garlands and ritual stuff. Why do we have to pay so much in a government-controlled temple? »

TNIE contacted the on-campus HR&CE office in the temple who said the priests were not properly paid by the department, so they collected a token amount from people. The official, however, declined to answer whether there is a record of the amount collected.

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