The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is set to launch special Sabarimala services -- Sabari Express -- from next week onwards. The special bus services have been introduced by the new KSRTC managing director MG Rajamanickam.
The Sabari Express has pushback seats and free wi-fi for a comfortable travel for the Ayyappa devotees, and has one or two stops at most. It is understood that the corporation will operate both non-AC and AC services to and from important destinations in Kerala during the pilgrimage season. While the fares of non AC buses would be similar to Silverline Jet, AC bus fares will be the same of low-floor services. The introduction of Sabari services is to benefit the pilgrims, who will be visiting the popular shrine in Pathanamthitta for the next three months.
A photo of the Sabari Express revealed by KSRTCBlog shows the side profile of the bus featuring decals with nature as its theme. "The attempt is to spread awareness among people about the need to protect eco-sensitive Periyar reserve forest. Messages exhorting pilgrims not to use plastic bottles and the like will be displayed," a senior official said.
The exact launch date of the new services is expected to be revealed soon. Apart from Sabari Express, the KSRTC will also run as many as 500 special services and 350 chain services in Pamba-Nilackkal area.
The Mandala Pooja Mahotsava at Sabarimala begins on November 15 and Mandala Pooja will be on December 26, while the pilgrimage season ends with Makara Vilakku on January 14.