Sabarimala, Nov 18: Heavy rush of devotees continued at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala with long queues being seen since Monday morning.
Over 70,000 devotees have offered prayers at the hill shrine since the temple opened on November 16.evening for the two-month Mandala-Makaravilakku puja, police sources said. With the temple witnessing heavy rush, devotees have complained that many of the facilities are inadequate.
However, unlike last year when the temple complex had witnessed violent protests after the government decided to implement the September 28, 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court, devotees are a happy lot this year as there are no restrictions. On Sunday, heavy rains had lashed the temple complex drenching devotees standing patiently in the queues.
Chief Priest A K Sudheer Namboothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum at 3 am and performed special poojas including Neyyabhishekam and among others yesterday. Though the Supreme Court did not stay its earlier order allowing entry of women between 10 years and 50 years of age into the shrine, at least ten women, part of a 30-member group from Andhra Pradesh were sent back from nearby Pampa on Saturday as they were found to be in the age group of 10-50 years.
The unprecedented floods in August last year which had damaged various facilities and the frenzied protests by right outfits and BJP workers had resulted in a severe fall in footfalls of pilgrims and had led to dip in temple revenue. (UNI)