And interestingly, temple officials found very few spiked currencies of Rs 500 and 1,000 in ‘hundi’ or collection boxes.
The two-month-long pilgrimage season began at the Lord Ayyappa temple on November 16, drawing hundreds of thousands.
Temple officials found at the end of the first week that hundi collection and money earned through sale of temple offerings had shot up by Rs 2 crore as compared to the same period in the previous year.
“The total collection was over Rs 22 crore,” Travancore Devasom Board member Ajay Tharayil told IANS.
“We thought there could be lots of the spiked currencies but it has not happened,” he said.
He said one reason the demonetisation had not affected the temple revenue was due to the opening of several counters for pilgrims to swipe their debit and credit cards.
Situated in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 km from here.