Sabarimala: A Kerala High Court judge, part of the Devaswom Bench handling matters related to temples, on Sunday visited the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala and expressed satisfaction over the facilities made for devotees for the ongoing annual two-month long pilgrimage season.
Justice Devan Ramachandran evaluated the arrangements made by the authorities for the devotees from Pamba at the foothill of Sabarimala and till the Sannidhanam (temple).
"The high court judge expressed satisfaction in the arrangements made at the shrine," the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, said in a release.
A day after the temple opened for the annual Mandala- Makaravilakku pooja, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had chaired a high-level meeting of the officials at Sabarimala and discussed various issues relating to the facilities arranged for the devotees.
The hilltop shrine on Sunday witnessed heavy rush of the devotees.
"Nearly 35,000 people visited the shrine till 6 PM today. The temple will close at 11 PM. The footfall is likely to cross 40,000," an official stationed at the Control Room in Pamba told PTI over phone.
Since the shrine opened for the season, devotees in large numbers have been thronging the shrine unlike last year when it dipped significantly in the backdrop of protests over implementation of the Supreme Court verdict lifting the ban on women in menstrual age from entering the temple.
With the Supreme Court referring review petitions against the judgement to a larger bench, the Kerala government has said it would not allow women in the 10-50 age group to visit the shrine unless they obtain a court order and also asserted it was not a place for activism.