Sabarimala temple to open for annual 10-day festival today
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 11: The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala will open by 5 pm on March 11 for a ten-day long annual festival and poojas of the month of Meenam.
A release issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which administers the shrine, said that head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru would preside over the temple opening ceremony. The festival will end on March 21.
The temple will also get a new gold-plated door for the sanctum sanctorum when the hill shrine opens for the festival. The existing door, which developed tiny cracks, would be replaced with the new one. The holy door, made of quality teak wood, has been plated with at least four kilograms of gold after engraving and embossing it with copper.
A group of Sabarimala devotees, led by one Unni Namboothiri, met the expenses of the new door as an offering to the presiding deity, TDB president A Padmakumar had said. "The new door is designed in such a way that the gold platings can be removed if the door suffers any damage in course of time," the TDB chief had said.
The temple and its base camps had witnessed violent clashes between police and traditionalists during the 64-day annual pilgrimage season that ended on January 20. More than 10,000 people were booked in connection with the violence.
On September 29, 2018, the Supreme Court had struck down a rule that disallowed girls and women in the 10-50 age group from entering the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala.