A group of 11 women dressed as men tried to gain entry to the famous Sabarimala temple in Kerala, but were stopped by the police Thursday. The temple bars the entry of women who have attained puberty.
"A team of police personnel, posted at the foothills of the temple at Pamba, felt suspicious of a group of pilgrims. They stopped the group and found that 11 of them were women dressed as men," U Sadanandan, superintendent of police in charge of security at the temple, told IANS.
"The police did not allow the women to go to the temple top and they were allowed to go back with their group after the others went to the temple and returned. No case was registered," he added.
The festival season of the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan began Nov 17 and goes on till the third week of January. The temple is at an altitude of 914 meters above sea level and four kilometres from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala.
Last year an estimated three million devotees visited the temple with collections touching over Rs 10 million and this time the temple board expects a 30 percent increase in devotees visiting the temple.