Woman comes close to entering Ayyappa Temple, police spot her and send her back
As per temple tradition, entry of women in the 10-50 age group is restricted in the shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, who is considered a ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ (perennial celibate).Updated: Nov 19, 2017 21:26 IST
A 31-year-old woman on Sunday managed to reach the foot of the steps leading to the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple, where female devotees in the 10-50 years age group are not permitted.
The woman attempted to enter the temple but was picked up from the ‘sannidhanam’, the temple complex, police sources told PTI.
She was questioned and her statement recorded, they added.
Entry of women is strictly monitored by police at Pampa river where the trek to Sabarimala begins. The temple had opened on November 15 for its annual three-month ‘Mandalam-Makaravilakku’ festival, which marks the beginning of the pilgrimage season.
Temple sources were clueless on how the woman, a native of Andhra Pradesh, managed to reach the complex, slipping through the stringent checks. Normally, devotees climb the ‘pathinettam padi’, a set of 18 steps considered sacred that lead to the complex.
“The woman was stopped before climbing ‘Pathinettam Padi’. Her identity card was immediately examined and it was found that she belonged to the restricted age group,” Pathanamthitta deputy commissioner of police, S Sateesh Bino said.
The woman was not carrying the traditional “irumudi” – a small bundle containing coconut, ghee, turmeric and sandal paste which is offered to the deity. She also took a different path to reach the ‘sannidhanam’ (temple complex), police said.
She was accompanied by her husband, two children and 11 others from her village. She apparently told police that she was unaware of the restriction on women.
As per tradition, entry of women in the 10-50 age group is restricted in the shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, who is considered a ‘Naishtika Brahmachari’ (perennial celibate).
However, this restriction has been challenged in the Supreme Court, which had on October 13 referred the matter to a constitution bench.
First Published: Nov 19, 2017 21:13 IST