Thiruvananthapuram: Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president, A Padmakumar, on Sunday, said "real women devotees" of Lord Ayyappa were unlikely to visit Sabarimala temple and only "women activists" will reach the hillock shrine, because of the recent Supreme Court verdict.

Supreme Court, in its landmark judgment on September 28, put an end to centuries-old tradition banning women of menstruating age from entering Kerala's most famous temple Sabarimala.

After a meeting with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram, Padmakumar told that the TDB would ask 100 acres of forest land from the Centre to provide more facilities for devotees as part of implementing the apex court order.

The Devaswom Board, which manages the temple, will also consider filing a review petition, citing the difficulties and challenges faced by it in implementing the new order in the present context.

Expressing displeasure over the verdict, Padmakumar said the apex court had taken into the record only constitutional, fundamental and gender issues while considering the entry of women into the shrine.

"The unique geographical aspects and specific circumstances at the hill temple should have also been considered. During the last annual pilgrim season, devotees had to stand in queue for over 17 continuous hours on a particular day due to the unprecedented rush," Padmakumar told media.

Around 5.5 lakh devotees had been at the shrine during the last 'Makaravilakku' day on January 14.

"Is it possible for women to trek kilometres through the forest path and stand amongst the packed crowd?" he asked.

The TDB chief said the real devotees who respect the traditions and rituals of Sabarimala and know the circumstances there were not likely to visit the shrine.

"Only some women activists are expected to trek the holy hill in the name of the verdict," he said.

"The TDB, however, will provide all possible facilities for women devotees who will reach the shrine from October 16, when it opens for this year's three-month long annual pilgrimage season," Padmakumar said.

"It will be tough and challenging for the Board to provide any special amenities for devotees in the present context. So, we will request the Centre to provide us with 100 more acres of forest land from the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) to implement the verdict. The Supreme Court's permission is also necessary for that," Padmakumar said.

Detailing its challenges, from crowd management to security, he said no more constructions were possible in the premises of the shrine which is located in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats region.

"Steps will be taken to demarcate some of the existing toilets and lodging facilities for women devotees," the TDP president said.

The Board has also planned to set up a new 'viripandal' (dormitory), which can accommodate at least 10,000 people, considering the influx of women devotees.

"The work will begin by January and will be completed by the next pilgrimage season in 2019," he said, adding a meeting will be held here on October 3 to discuss further steps to be taken by the Board in view of the court verdict.