The Lord Ayyappa Temple is all set to open today for the 2-month long Mandala Pooja festival. The day of Mandala Pooja marks the finish of the 41 days long austerity that is seen by the supporters or aficionados of Lord Ayyappa.
After the Supreme Court deferred the verdict on the Sabrimala issue, women of all age groups will be allowed to enter the temple, however, no police protection will be given to the women.
The recent majority verdict, penned by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, observed that the apex court should “tread cautiously” on issues of religion, including religious practices. The court has endorsed their stand that traditions of the temple be followed. However, Women’s rights activists believe that since the court had not issued any stay on the entry of women, the 2018 verdict would continue to hold.
A total of 10,017 police personnel have been deployed on the ground in the Sabarimala region including Pamba, Nilakal and Erumeli. According to Pathanamthitta District Collector 800 medical staff have been deployed 16 medical emergency centres have been established. Pathanamthitta District Collector said that all basic arrangements are in place. Around 2,400 toilets and more than 250 water kiosks are ready and more than 1,000 sanitation workers deployed to ensure a clean atmosphere.