Devotees say ban on women between 10 and 50 years should stay as deity Lord Ayyappa is celibate. (File)
Two women below 50 walked into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala today, becoming the first to do so since the Supreme Court ordered the end of a decades-old ban on women of menstrual age entering the shrine. Bindu and Kanaka Durga, both in their early 40s, entered the hilltop shrine early this morning around 3:45 am.
The women started the uphill trek to the temple around midnight, reached a little before 4am and left after praying to Lord Ayyappa. There was no media glare and very few devotees were around at the time, which apparently facilitated the "sneak"visit.
Here are LIVE Updates from Sabarimala Temple:
Jan 02, 201911:36 (IST) "It is the responsibility of police to give protection to those who come and we did it. Verifying the age and other details is not our responsibility," says Kerala director general of police Lokanath Behera, according to news agency ANI.Jan 02, 201911:00 (IST) "We did not enter the shrine by climbing the 18 holy steps but went through the staff gate," one of the women told local media, according to news agency AFP.Jan 02, 201910:53 (IST)Kerala's Sabarimala Temple has been shut for "purification" rituals, according to news agency ANI.
The temple was shut after two women devotees in their 40s entered the temple in the early morning hours today.
According to AFP, a spokesman for the temple's management, Sasikumar Varma, had earlier said if priests confirmed women had entered Sabarimala "necessary purification rituals will be done."Jan 02, 201910:51 (IST) Confirming their visit, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: "It is a fact that the women entered the shrine. Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine."Jan 02, 201910:49 (IST) Bindu and Kanaka Durga, both in their early 40s, entered the hilltop shrine early this morning around 3.45 am. A video accessed by NDTV shows the women hurrying into the shrine, dressed in all-black and escorted by the police. A group of protesters also appear to be at the spot.No more content CommentsSource Article