Sabarimala. Photo: PTI
Thiruvananthapuram: The Sabarimala Temple on Wednesday early morning witnessed a heavy rush of devotees amid the ongoing annual pilgrimage season, an official statement from the Temple management committee said.
Officials said that the temple has been witnessing a heavy rush of devotees since December 11, and a maximum of 1.07 lakh devotees visited the temple on December 12.
Earlier on December 13 and 14, the temple witnessed a footfall of 77,216 and 64,617 devotees respectively.
On December 12, the temple received record bookings for the darshan of Lord Ayyappa as over 1 lakh devotees thronged the temple in a day.
"As many as 1,07,260 devotees made online bookings for the Lord Ayyappa's darshan on the day," they said.
Similarly, about 60,000 people visited the temple on December 11, they said.
Considering the heavy footfall, elaborate security arrangements have also been made by the temple management authorities to ensure the safety of devotees.
"Special arrangements have been made at the temple in view of the heavy rush. Devotees are being escorted from Pampa to Sannidhanam in a controlled and segmented manner. Security personnel have been deployed at each point for this purpose," Sabarimala Special Officer Harishchandra Naik said.
The segment rotation is a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident due to the crowding of devotees.
Devotees waiting in the queue are also provided snacks and drinking water. Apart from the police, the services of RAF and NDRF personnel are also being used to regulate the traffic, Naik said.
The online portals of the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala were opened on November 17 for devotees for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festivals, marking the beginning of the two-month-long pilgrimage season.
Over 2.5 lakh pilgrims visited Lord Ayappa Temple at Sabarimala in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district in the first six days of the pilgrimage season.
"2,61,874 pilgrims visited Sabarimala in the first six days of this pilgrim season. There are indications that the number of devotees will increase in the coming days," Kerala Devaswom Department Minister K Radhakrishnan said.