- Saturday's pilgrimage to Sabarimala prohibited due to heavy rains.
- Pilgrims who have booked for darshan via virtual queue system will be allowed.
- Many devotees have been trekking to offer prayers at the Ayyappa since Nov 16th.
Pathanamthitta: Amid continuous rainfall in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district and rising water levels in major rivers, including the Pamba River, pilgrimage to Pamba and Sabarimala shrine has been prohibited for today (November 20th) to ensure the safety of pilgrims. The order of prohibition of Saturday’s pilgrimage to the famous Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala was issued by the district administration on Friday.
“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 is prohibited,” the order issued by District Collector Divya S Iyer said. She said the pilgrims who have booked a slot via the virtual queue system will be given an opportunity for “darshan” in the nearest possible slot once the weather conditions turn conducive. “We request the pilgrims to cooperate by not undertaking the journey during this time,” the order said.
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 16th for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season. Like the previous year, the devotees are being allowed through a virtual queue system this time also as part of efforts to regulate the flow of pilgrims in view of the pandemic and heavy rains.