Yet another Sabarimala festive season is on the horizon. In 2018, all the news channels were focusing mainly on whether women under the age of 50 should be allowed to enter the temple or not, this article is not at all going into that. Here, I’ll be summarizing a few health tips that can make your temple visit a healthier one this time around. These steps are based on my own personal experience as a pilgrim and as a medical professional who has been on duty at Sabarimala during one of the festive seasons.
Updated: November 13, 2019
Here is a video on the health tips that every pilgrim visiting Sabarimala should know about:
#1 If you are a diabetic or patient with high blood pressure, do not forget to carry the regular medicines with you on your journey to the temple. This is very important as i have seen many patients who either forget to take the medicines or deliberately leave it at home.
This can lead to several complications including an episode of high blood pressure, heart attack or even stroke.
In case you are taking regular medicines for epilepsy or seizures, you should plan the visit to Sabarimala in such a way that you get the darshan in the day time itself. This is very important because sleep should not be compromised in persons who are taking such medicines!
If you have asthma, please carry it’s medicines and inhalers (if any). You can also make use of the oxygen booths that have been set up in the uphill journey.
#2 If you are a patient who has suffered from heart attack in the past, carry the Sorbitrate tablet prescribed by your doctor with you. Use the tablet by placing it under your tongue when you feel sudden and severe chest pain. Do not continue the uphill journey without consulting one of the medical centers on the way. The doctor at the medical center will examine you and may even ask you to not continue the journey after taking an ECG. It will be better if your past medical records are available for the doctor’s convenience.
Persons suffering from heart diseases, be it an old heart attack or a valve problem, they should keep in mind to climb the hill slowly with adequate rest in between the ascent.
The first 2 kilometers is the steepest part of the hill and this area should be covered at the slowest pace. Don’t rush in and ask others to wait for you. Even if they don’t wait for you, it’ll be a good idea to climb slowly for the sake of your own good health.
Also read “Are you at risk of heart disease?”
#3 Don’t drink water from hotels and restaurants unless you are 100% sure that it is boiled water. Waterborne diarrhea are very common during the pilgrimage season. And it is best advised to prevent it rather than treat it. The drinking water supplied on the Sabarimala uphill road is safe and boiled water. Be careful when you drink juices and other beverages from the petty shops. Keep this in mind when choosing the restaurants for your meals too.
#4 Don’t hesitate to make use of the medical service provided by the Govt of Kerala. There are 5 such centers namely at Nilakkal, Pamba, Appachimeedu, Neelimala, and Sannidhanam. Most of these centers have a well-equipped pharmacy were essential medicines are easily available. The medical center at pamba even has the services of specialist doctors and ambulance services.
Orthopedicians, pediatricians, physicians, a cardiologist, and other specialty doctor’s services are available at these centers, absolutely free of cost!
All the consultations including medicines are provided free of cost to pilgrims at these medical centers.
Make use of the Queue Coupon facility which can be booked online at www.sabarimalaq.co.in This is a useful website developed and maintained by the Kerala Police Dept.
You might also find the official Sabarimala website useful.
This may not be a health tip but, problems that can arise when the number of pilgrims increases can be easily prevented by planning 2 or 3 days before the journey. You can avoid standing in long queues by staying away from the unthinkable rush of pilgrims and be less anxious throughout your journey by using this facility.
#5 As you all know, Sabarimala is a forest area and when we talk about forest, mosquitoes come into the picture automatically. There are many mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue Fever, Filariasis, Malaria and Chikungunya and these can be easily prevented by taking some simple precautions. I have already written articles on this topic and you can find once such an article on the Steps to prevent mosquito bites here. Remember to carry topical mosquito repellents and use long-sleeve shirts when visiting on your journey.
I know that this list is not complete if any doctors or other medical professionals have something more to contribute to this list, please feel free to use the comments section below.
Have a happy and peaceful Sabarimala visit!