As protests shift to state capital, pilgrims flock Sabarimala

Sabarimala: For the first time since the Sabarimala temple opened on November 16, there has been a sharp increase in the number of pilgrims.

One reason attributed for this is that the protests of the Sangh parivar against the Supreme Court ruling allowing women of all ages to enter the temple and the arrest of its senior leader K. Surendran has shifted to the state Secretariat.

The Congress-led UDF is going hammer and tongs against the Pinarayi Vijayan government in the Kerala Assembly.

According to official figures, on Monday a record 79,098 pilgrims arrived at the temple while till 1 p.m. on Tuesday 40,000 pilgrims has made it to the hilltop shrine.

Yet, the pilgrim flow is much less than what the temple town normally sees during the festival season.

In the previous season, the average number of pilgrims visiting the shrine was around one lakh during the two-month pilgrimage season.

The Kerala government has promised to implement the apex court’s verdict that struck down a hitherto tradition of not allowing girls and women within 10-50 years from visiting the temple.

On Tuesday, a three-member High Court appointed observer committee consisting of two retired judges and a serving Director General of Police arrived at the temple town to inspect the facilities and the arrangements for the pilgrims.