Hours after two women managed to enter the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday morning, the priests were seen carrying out the ‘purification’ of the Lord Ayappa shrine. News Nation has an exclusive video that shows the priests sprinkling holy water and chanting mantras outside the sanctum sanctorum. According to Press Trust of India, the temple usually opens at 3 am and closes at 12:30 pm. But on Wednesday, the temple was closed at 10:30 am to carry out the ‘purification.’ Many devotees were seen waiting outside. Meanwhile, the situation remains largely peaceful with sporadic incidents of protests in the state.
Scripting history, two women in their 40s entered the Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala early Wednesday and offered prayers. Speaking to media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said "it is a fact that the women have entered the temple".Following the entry of two women at the shrine, the chief priest has decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in order to perform the 'purification' ceremony.
Despite the Supreme Court's historic ruling on September 28 last year, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the 'barred' group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told media that the two women have entered the shrine as per the apex court order and the closure of the shrine was against the law of the land. "People should accept the development as a reality," Balakrishnan said. The women trekked to the hill a day after the state-sponsored 620 km-long human wall of women was formed Tuesday from Kasargode in the northern part of the state till the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram.
The two women, identified as Kanakadurga (44) and Bindu (42), wearing the traditional black dress, with their head covered, are said to have climbed the hill shrine at 3.38 am Wednesday.
Police have provided security to the homes of the two women fearing possible protests. On December 24 last year, the two women had unsuccessfully tried to offer prayers at the shrine.
The Lord Ayyappa temple had opened for the 22-day "Makaravilakku" festival on December 30, three days after the conclusion of the 41-day "mandala puja".
(With PTI inputs)