Pathanamthitta, Dec 6 (UNI) The Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala witnessed unprecedented inflow of pilgrims today, amidst tight security on the 15th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.
Long queues of devotees for 'Nirmalya Darshan' extended even beyond Saramkuthy. 'Neyyabhishekam' counters also witnessed rush.
Pilgrims were subjected to frisking before climbing the 18-Sacred Steps (Pathinettampati).
Devotees were asked to deposit mobile phones, cameras and electronic devices with police at Valiyanadapanthal. Commandos carrying AK-47 rifles stood guard at various vantage points at 'Sannidhanam.' Armed police personnel were deployed solely to protect the temple. 'Sannidhanam' 'shadows' were posted at 60 points over a stretch from Marakkoottam to Sannidhanam to monitor the move of the pilgrims.
Devotees were prevented from offering money at the hundi kept at 'Sopanam' and throwing offering into the sanctum sanctorum.
Coconuts containing 'ghee' were emptied into a vessel kept at the 'Malikappuram' fly-over. 'Ghee' meant for 'Abhishekam' of Ayyappa idol was also inspected.
Security was also tightened at Kunnar dam, Aravana plant, Generator room, KSEB office and Transformer site. Devotees sans 'Irumudikkettu' were stopped at Pampa. They were asked to pass through metal detectors at Pampa before trekking up to Sannidhanam Temple.
Movement of pack-donkeys was banned. Vehicular traffic was prohibited from Triveni bridge to Manalppuram.