The Sabarimala temple in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta District of India will open on Saturday for a three-month pilgrimage season amid confusion over the latest verdict of the Supreme Court and threats by some women activists to worship at hilltop temple, reports Hindustan Times.The state government has said it won’t provide protection to women devotees but many activists have announced their plan to enter the temple.
The Sabarimala Karma Samiti, a top body of Hindu outfits, said it will block women if they try to enter the temple.
The opening of the Sabarimala temple comes two days after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had referred a clutch of petitions seeking a review of its order last year, which paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa to a larger seven-judge bench by a majority 3:2 ruling.
The chief priest or tantric of the Sabarimala temple, Mahesh Kandarau, will open its doors at 5pm and pilgrims will be allowed to trek to the temple in the afternoon.
The September 2018 verdict triggered protracted protests in Kerala. Devotees have blocked attempts of younger women to visit the temple
Traditionalists maintain that women of childbearing age should not be allowed inside the temple because the presiding deity, Lord Ayyappan, is celibate.Both the Congress as well as its arch-rival, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have backed the protests by traditionalists, citing the sentiments of the devotees.