Pilgrims at Sabarimala | Photo: VK Aji | Mathrubhumi
Pathanamthitta: Devotees will be prohibited from entering the hill shrine at Sabarimala on Saturday due to heavy rains at Pampa and Sannidhanam. An order was issued by the Pathanamthitta District Collector regarding this. It is learned that the devotees will not be allowed to enter Sabarimala and Pampa even if they arrive at Nilakkal.
"In the wake of the continuous rainfall received in Pathanamthitta district, rising water levels in Pamba river and owing to the red alert status in both Kakki-Anathode reservoir (gates open) and Pamba dam, in order to ensure safety of pilgrims, it is hereby declared that the pilgrimage to Pamba and Sabarimala tomorrow (20-11-2021) is prohibited," the order issued by District Collector Divya S Iyer said.
"We request the pilgrims to cooperate by not undertaking the journey during this time," the order said. The collector also assured that those who made bookings through the virtual queue system will be given nearest possible date to visit the temple.
Braving inclement weather conditions and the COVID-19 situation, hundreds of devotees have been trekking the hills to offer prayers at the Ayyappa temple since it opened on November 16 for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season.
On Friday, the areas surrounding Sabarimala temple witnessed heavy rains, and Pamba region was flooded.
This is the first time that the Sabarimala pilgrimage has been prohibited since the beginning of the Mandalam season. The collector assured that the decision was taken to ensure the safety of the devotees.
(With inputs from PTI)