Thiruvananthapuram: Ending decades-old practice of playing only Malayalam and Sanskrit devotional songs at the famed Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, authorities have decided to play songs in four more Indian languages including Hindi at the hill shrine from Wednesday.
The decision was taken by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, in view of Sabarimala becoming an important pilgrim centre and attracting devotees from all parts of the country, a TDB release said.
Now on, devotional songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada would be played along with Malyalam and Sanskrit songs in the wee hours, when the sanctum sanctorum opens and after the winding-up rituals before the temple closes late in the evening.
For the last several several years, the temple used to open and close in the backdrop of songs rendered by eminent playback singer KJ Yesudas and Jayan-Vijayan duo.
A new CD comprising devotional scores in different languages sung by eminent singers like Seerkazhi Govindarajan, SP Balasubramanian, Veeraman-Kannan and Narayana Reddy had been prepared for the purpose.
Over 30 million devotees visit the shrine a year, mostly during the November-January pilgrimage season with pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka constituting the majority.