Ayyappa devotees wait to offer prayers at Sabarimala temple, in Pathanamthitta, Saturday, Dec 10, 2022 | Photo: PTI
Kochi: Travancore Devaswom Board president K Ananthagopan on Sunday said that the closing time of Sabarimala Ayyappa temple has been extended by half-an-hour to control the heavy rush. The temple normally closes for the day at 11 pm.
The move comes hours after the high court asked the Board to see if it could keep the temple open for another hour at night. The Board informed the court that it had to consult the chief priest. The court had a special sitting on the holiday to take up this issue.
On Saturday, more than one lakh devotees visited the hill shrine. As many as 1,07,695 devotees booked their darshan slots for Friday. Some pilgrims reportedly suffered injuries due to the rush.
Kerala police wanted to cap the virtual queue booking for Sabarimala temple darshan at 85,000 per day as they are unable to manage the crowd.
Sabarimala police special officer Harishchandra Naik has ordered that the devotees shall not proceed via the forest, diverting from the main road due to the rush.