Sabarimala Temple Opens for Devotees Today
Today the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple has been opened today at 5 pm amidst heavy security, and the temple will remain open for two months.
Today the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple has been opened today at 5 pm amidst heavy security in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala. The temple will remain open for worship for the next two months. During the days of Mandalapooja (approximately 15 November to 26 December), Makaravilakku or "Makara Sankranti" (14 January) and Maha Vishuva Sankranti (14 April), and the first five days of each Malayalam month.
ANI reported that from Pamba, the police returned ten women aged between 10 to 50. The women came from Andhra Pradesh to offer their prayers, even as confusion over the Supreme Court verdict on permitting entry to women of menstruating ages continued.
On Saturday morning devotees were coming at Nilakkal and Pamba from various parts of Kerala and other southern states, but only by 2 pm, they were allowed to leave for the shrine. They can climb the 18 holy steps after the padi puja to have darshan.
Women can enter temple shrine, but the Kerala Government will not provide police protection.
Though women can enter the temple, as the Supreme Court's 2018 order still stands, the state government has decided not to provide police protection to women of the prohibited age group who intend to visit the temple.
Many ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet have said that law and order must be maintained and "women activists should be kept away from the Sabarimala temple".
Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday said, "This (Sabarimala shrine) is not a place for activism, and the LDF government would not support those who make announcements about entering the hill shrine for the sake of publicity".
He also said those who want to enter the temple could acquire a court order.
"If women need protection to trek the hills, police should provide the same. Whether the government gives protection or not we will be reaching on 17 November to offer prayers," Desai said.
Law Minister AK Balan said, "If someone thinks that they can exploit the devotees by spreading lies and turn them against the government, let me tell you, it's not going to happen."