Two women below 50 have created history by entering the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, which has been off-limits for women of menstrual age for decades and has kept it that way despite a Supreme Court order ending the restriction.
The women started their climb from the Pamba base camp around midnight and reached the temple after 3:45 am and left after praying to Lord Ayyappa, say sources.
The women, both in their early 40s, entered the hilltop shrine early this morning, say police sources.Video first aired by regional channel News 24 shows the women hurrying into the shrine, dressed in black and escorted by the police. A group of protesters also appeared to be at the spot.
“I don’t think it is true…They might have done that in absolute secrecy. Once we know, we will take appropriate action,” said Rahul Easwar, activist and leader of the Ayyappa Dharma Sena.
The women started their climb from the Pamba base camp around midnight and reached the temple after 3:45 am and left after praying to Lord Ayyappa, say sources. There was no media glare and very few devotees were around at the time, which facilitated the women’s quick visit.
The women were protected by small group of policemen, both in uniform and plainclothes.
The two women had tried to climb up to Sabarimala in the last week of December, but had been blocked by massive protests.
Priests and devotees strongly believe that the ban on women between 10 and 50 years should stay as the deity Lord Ayyappa is celibate.Since the Supreme Court overturned the ban on September 28, devotees had ensured that women below 50 were unable to enter the shrine. Over a dozen women tried but were stopped by a wall of protesters less than a km from the temple’s.