Sabarimala pilgrimage suspended for a day due to rain, red alert for Pamba dam

Published on Nov 20, 2021 06:37 AM IST

Braving inclement weather conditions and the Covid-19 situation, hundreds of devotees have been trekking the Sabarimala hills to offer prayers at the Ayyappa temple since it opened on November 16 for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.

Devotees offer prayers during a ritual to worship Lord Ayyappa.(AFP Photo)
Devotees offer prayers during a ritual to worship Lord Ayyappa.(AFP Photo)
By | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Pilgrimage to the famous Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala hill in Pathanamthitta district has been suspended for a day on Saturday due to heavy rain in the district and the rising water levels in major rivers, including Pamba. The order was issued by Pathanamthitta district administration on Friday.

Pamba, considered a holy river, is swollen and the Pamba dam (where red alert status has been issued) will be opened later in the day, said the district administration.

The situation in other parts of state is stable.

The Pathanamthitta administration said that red alert status has also been issued for Kakki-Anathode reservoir. "In order to ensure safety of pilgrims, it is hereby declared that the pilgrimage to Pamba and Sabarimala tomorrow (20-11-2021) is prohibited," the order issued by District Collector Divya S Iyer said on Friday.

She said the pilgrims who have booked a slot via the virtual queue system will be given an opportunity for "darshan" in the nearest possible slot once the weather conditions turn conducive.

Braving inclement weather conditions and the Covid-19 situation, hundreds of devotees have been trekking the hills to offer prayers at the Ayyappa temple since it opened on November 16 for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.

Like the previous year, the devotees are being allowed through a virtual queue system this time also as part of efforts to regulate the flow of pilgrims in view of the pandemic and heavy rains.

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