Sabarimala Virtual-Q system

sabarimala.pol@kerala.gov.in www.sabarimalaq.com

Sabarimala is the most visited pilgrim centre in Kerala. The number of devotees to Sabarimala is increasing every year exponentially. Kerala Police is responsible for the crowd management of the pilgrims visiting Sabarimala during the pilgrimage season starting from October to January. To regulate and streamline the devotees at Sabarimala, the Kerala Police had designed and developed software titled "Sabarimala Virtual Q-System" which was introduced in the 2011-12 season and was continued in the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 seasons.

The Portal (www.sabarimalaq.com) enabled the pilgrims to reserve their place in the Queue for the Sabarimala pilgrimage at a specified hour on any day when the shrine is open on a "First Come, First Serve" basis. The pilgrims could select the date and time of joining the queue, by accessing the Web Portal and they were provided accommodation in the Queue subject to availability.

During the year 2012-13, Kerala Police had further improved and refined the Application Software and introduced a new Web Portal for Virtual Queue in Sabarimala with the help of Keltron, a govt. undertaking. These services were made available on www.sabarimalaq.com in Cloud Environment.

Devotees from all over the world who propose to visit Sabarimala would benefit by this portal. The portal had more details, information and guidelines which are very useful for the Sabarimala Pilgrims, with multi language support.

How to use

Booking in the Virtual-Q system in every season started from the first week of October. Pilgrims could book their slots 6 to 8 weeks in advance in the Virtual-Q system. While registering, the pilgrims had to furnish their name, age, address, photograph, details of photo identity card, etc. The date and time of joining the queue could be chosen by the pilgrim according to the availability of hourly slots. After successful booking, pilgrims had to download and print their coupons. The Virtual-Q Coupon contains the date & time of darshan, name and photograph of the pilgrim, barcode, etc. During the pilgrimage the pilgrims carried these coupons and the photo identity card used for registration.

By way of confirmation of the reservation made by a pilgrim for joining the queue at Sabarimala, an email or a SMS is generated by the system and sent to the person who makes the reservation.

Pilgrims produced the Coupon and Photo Identity Card at the Queue Coupon Verification Counters facilitated exclusively for this purpose at Pampa. After verification a Virtual Entry card will be given to the pilgrim along with verified coupon. Only those who carried 'Verified" coupons with Virtual Entry Cards were entitled to avail the facilities of Virtual-Q System from Pampa to Sannidhanam.

Virtual-Q-Coupon facility was provided by Kerala Police as a part of Crowd Management which in turn saves precious time for the Pilgrims. This facility was absolutely free of cost to the pilgrims as it was funded by advertisement revenue as permitted by the Govt. of Kerala. Pilgrims without Virtual-Q-Coupon can also have their pilgrimage as in the previous years, through the conventional queue. Pilgrims coming through the Virtual-Queue System are allowed to join the queue at Sannidhanam Nadapanthal.

It is to be noted that this facility was utilized by 7.43 lakhs pilgrims in 2011-12 season, 15.65 lakhs pilgrims in 2012-13 and 15.3 lakhs pilgrims in 2013-14 season. We had observed that pilgrims speaking Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages domiciled in all parts of the country had availed of it.

Outcome of the project

  • Pilgrims were able to determine their preference for darshan and accordingly obtain a place in the Virtual Queue for darshan.
  • Uncertainty for the pilgrims for darshan at Sabarimala removed.
  • Able to streamline the crowd at Sabarimala using this preferential system.
  • Sabarimala web site (www.sabarimala.keralapolice.gov.in) is published in English and four regional languages viz Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

Achievements

  • The Sabarimala Virtual Queue system has received appreciation from various corners like public, dailies, visual media, online publications, etc.
  • This project, during the season 2010-11 won Kerala State Chief Minister's Award for Innovation in Public Policy under Public Service Delivery category
  • Average time taken to reach Sannidhanam from Pampa through normal queue in 2010-11 festival season was 4hrs 28 minutes. After the successful implementation of Virtual Queue System, it was reduced to 2 hrs 41 minutes.