Devotees allowed to visit Sabarimala in batches after temporary ban lifted | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Devotees allowed to visit Sabarimala in batches after temporary ban lifted

Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nov 21, 2021 03:19 PM IST

The decision to resume the pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple was made after authorities noted on Saturday that no major rainfall was reported in the region.

Pilgrimage to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple limped to normalcy after the Pathanamthitta district administration on Saturday permitted the pilgrims to trek to the hills where the shrine is located. The temple authorities had on Friday issued an order to temporarily halt the pilgrimage to the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala in view of incessant rainfall in Kerala as well as several of its neighbouring states.

Devotees wait in queues inside the premises of the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala in this file photo.(Reuters)
Devotees wait in queues inside the premises of the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala in this file photo.(Reuters)

Heavy rainfall caused water levels in major rivers such as Pamba in Kerala to rise. However, the decision to resume the pilgrimage was taken after the temple authorities noted on Saturday that no major rainfall was reported in the region, especially in the hilly region surrounding the temple.

Citing an official statement, news agency PTI reported that the reopening order was issued by district collector Divya S Iyer, who also permitted devotees stranded in Nilackal to trek to Sabarimala and offer prayers.

A discussion regarding the resumption of pilgrimage took place between Iyer, the chairperson of the district disaster management authority, and Arjun Pandyan, the additional district magistrate of Sabarimala, on Saturday.

An official of the Travancore Devaswom Board said the pilgrimage resumed on Saturday morning, adding that due to the partial shutdown of the shrine, the place is “witnessing heavy footfall.”

“Around 20,000 people have booked for visiting the temple today alone,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

Two shutters of the Pamba dam were raised and authorities have appealed to people living in the low-lying areas on the banks of rivers to take precautions.

The Sabarimala temple opened on November 16 for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing incessant rain, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 25 people, even as dozens remain missing. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the state and thousands of people have been moved to relief camps.

On Saturday, Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit regions in Chittoor YSR districts to take stock of the situation.

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