Pathanamthitta: Kerala's Sabarimala temple has opened for pilgrimage season today. There was a heavy rush of Ayyappa devotees when the shrine opened at 5 pm.

The temple opened today for the 41-day annual pilgrimage season. Security has been heightened around the hill shrine. More than 10,000 cops will be deployed in four phases.

The state government is also not interested about giving protection to women between the ages of 10 and 50 years who were allowed to enter the shrine after the top court last year lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of menstruating women. The Sabarimala temple is opening after the Supreme Court referred the review petitions against its 2018 verdict to a seven-judge bench.

Meanwhile,  Women rights activist Trupti Desai said that she would visit the  Sabarimala temple after November 20 regardless of whether she would be provided protection by the Kerala government or not.
She said, "I will go to Sabarimala after November 20. We will seek protection from the Kerala government and it is up to them to give us protection or not. Even if not provided with protection, I will visit Sabarimala for the darshan."

At the same time, at least ten women of 10-50 age group tried trekking to Sabarimala shrine on November 16. The women are touted to be from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. According to sources, a group of tourists from Vijayawada were on a temple visit in Kerala. When they reached Pathanamthitta, they thought of visiting Sabarimala shrine. But when police informed them, only women below 10 and after 50 can enter the shrine, the group returned.